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Chinese investment in Australia plummets

Chinese investment in Australia dropped by over 47 per cent, from $4.8 billion in 2018 to $2.5 billion in 2019, according to new data released by the Australian National University’s Chinese Investment in Australia (CHIIA) database.

The level of Chinese investment in Australia has fallen for three consecutive years since it peaked at $15.8 billion in 2016 the CHIIA database records.

The CHIIA database has tracked Chinese direct investment into Australia for the calendar years 2014 to 2019. The database shows a total of $49.3 billion worth of investment was made by 361 Chinese investment projects in Australia over that time.

Over the six-year period, the real estate sector received the biggest proportion with 24 per cent of Chinese investment, followed by the mining sector that made up 21 per cent of the total value. There has been an increase in the share of private investments in total investment from China.

The 2019 decline in investment coincides with lower flows of Chinese investment abroad but the fall in flows to Australia was sharper.

A team at ANU has been working with the Australian Treasury and other government departments to create the new Chinese investment data series that provides a level of detail by industrial sector and investor activity not previously available.

Project leader Professor Peter Drysdale said: “An important characteristic of the CHIIA database is its public nature and its verifiability.

“The transparency of the database makes it useful for detailed enquiries and the tracking of particular investments in Australia. This kind of data is not available from other foreign investment databases in Australia.”

In 2019, Chinese investment almost halved across all sectors, with major falls in mining, real estate and commercial property, manufacturing and a collapse of investment in agriculture. There were some modest gains in construction, education and finance.

In 2019, Chinese foreign direct investment dropped globally by 9.8 per cent.

The research team note the much sharper decline in Chinese investment in Australia may have been associated with a number of factors including a shift of Chinese investment flows towards emerging markets and negative Chinese perceptions of the investment environment in Australia.

The database is available free at:

Are you worried about Australia’s prospects without investment from China?


I am concerned about the situation with China...however..we can't bow to bullying and that is exactly what the Chinese are doing at present. 

It's a shame and a great danger that our PM is such a good friend of Trump.

It seems to be an ongoing thing, Sophie, look at the disaster when John Howard kow towed to Bush.

Yes, Sophie, me too but Morrison and Trump are the same personalities -- both  egomaniacs/ignorant/rude/stuborn/ and I doubt if we can change that.

AS far as Howard goes he should have been had up for treason!

I am not at all fond of China owning so much of our country

Yes, I agree Sophie --

I agree, PlanB, our governments seem to lean more towards helping China than helping Australia and Australians.  We're not allowed to buy Chinese property so China should be banned from buying Australian property...actually, you can't say that or you'll be accused of racism.

No wonder. The trump puppet in Canberra blames China for the whole nasty situation. But he never dares to complain when the yanks collect data from Australiens, spy on `friends`, start / continiue wars, bullies other nations.

Yes me,  and we are a target for the USA with all their bases here in Aussie

I think this is terrific. Chinese "investment" is just money laundering. Now we hear that the Chinese company that bought the Van Dieman Dairy Company in Tasmania hasn't made any payments for 3 years. Our government facilitated this sale and denied a Tasmanian woman from buying it.

Plus there are the insane housing prices, pushed up by Chinese who come in at the end and outbid our kids.

So, it's a good thing, some short term pain for a long term gain. Government here has to learn to look long term instead of just to the next election.

I haven't bought anything made in china for ages and it's a good feeling!

If they haven't paid - take it back.


I also try VERY hard not to buy anything china -- but VERY hard to get things that are NOT made there -- I bought a German knife the other day -- GERMAN but MADE IN ____G China

The current Government spruiked the benefits of both investment from, and trade with, China until early this year then did quite an about face. That did coincide with Trump started to blame China from everything. That coincidence of timing does make us look like we are stil the U.S. Deputy Sheriff which is a real concern. When the big boys play, or fight, a smaller player in the middle is the one who will really lose out.

We do need to distance ourselves a bit from the U.S. and get back to being our own independent country.

Spot on. But with the yank puppet in Canberra unlikley

I for one am happy there is less 'investment' from China. Australia should never be in a position where a single foreign entity is able to hold it to ransom. Australia should never sell off its natural resources such as farmland, water rights, mines etc. Australia should be selling the products of those things not the asset themselves.

As far as real estate goes, this is a good thimg. I remember just 8-9 years ago when looking to buy, I would turn up to developments and be the ONLY person there not speaking Mandarin. The brochures were all in Mandarin, the agents ALL of Chinese heritage and every single other would-be buyer also all Chinese (and many from overseas not simply Australians with Chinese ancestry). I am happy that finally the Government started enforcing the rules around home ownership that made it far more difficult for overseas nationals to buy up property then leave it empty for years.

There is a great big world out there and business owners (small and big) should be looking elsewhere. That does not mean that Australia should ignore China and the potential of its market BUT it should never again become the only market that is considered. If nothing else, these times should have taught that lesson.

Yes KSS, it is frighting when you see all these Chinese people at the auctions -- and also all the Chinese estate agents -- pushing their properties to the Chinese

India is to be the new china when it comes to making things, buy indian.


As a frequent traveller to India I often come across the view of Indians that the Chinese are much better in making stuff than they are.  This has been confirmed when I look at the stuff I bought in India and the lousy quality of it.  Go and try it out!  Indians also lack discipline when it comes to work and attention to detail.  On the other side they are great sales people and have creative minds which shows up in software development for example. But the greatest value Indians have to give to the world is of a spiritual nature.  The ancient vedic scriptures are a fountain of wisdom, and yoga and meditation have spread around the world. Ayurveda too has many health applications where Western medicine is ineffective.   

China’s Economy is Four Times Larger Than India’s EconomyInflation in India is 6 times higher than it is in China

Advantage of India is the unbridled population growth. Some say future China needsIndian workers

Australia would benefit rom Indian migration. Room for a few million Indians ScoMo has this right

Too many sweat shops in India.

I do not agree that we need some many immigrants -- Australia is not big enough it is only livable in a small area compared to the size of our land -- and we do not have enough water I would hate to see Aussie become any bigger -- population-wise than it already is --

I remember the hysteria when the Japanese invested here in the late 80,s and then pulled out when their markets crashed a few years later.  Here in Cairns that investement boom put our tourism industry on its feet fast and has been a huge benefit.  I don't think we appreciate foreign investement from Asia as we do from Europe or the US, refelcting a still underlying racism in the Anglo world particularly.  A fear of the yellow devil is still evident in our political establishment, which does in no way reflect the Australian population as a whole.  Why would the Chinese want to invest here in such a climate?  I wouldn't...  

It's time we kept China at arms length.  They are gradually buying up all of the islands in the oceans between China and Australia and it's no secret that they have their eye on buying up Australia.  The sad thing is that our Government is aiding and abetting in this enterprise.  It's no surprise that ordinary Aussies can no longer afford to buy property because the Chinese are outbidding everyone.  If things keep going the way they have been, we'll all be learning to speak Chinese in the not too distant future.

The kids were learning Chinese ages ago -- are they still doing that??

Sorry Grey you got that one wrong more people more water use a commodity that is decreasing at a fast rate.Population growth is a con created by the big end of town to lower wages and it seems to be working.

About bloody time, we are at the beck and call of China, they own or have interest in most of our infrastructure.

They are blackmailing all the south pacific islands by building roads and hospitals and building big wharfs so their navy can tie up their biggest air craft carrier. This is done in the guise of a loan which they know can't be paid back. Then when the islands can't pay them back they are taking over the place.

Look at the new big mines in Queensland, the Queensland government welcomed them on the news a couple of weeks ago, it was a very quiet, almost unheard, thank you to the Chinese, after a big loud comment about all the jobs for Queensland people, the same with the stupid statement about the low life footbrawlers being welcome but but people with family health issues cant go there because they do not bring into Queensland millions of dollars.

We should give the rest of Queensland that the Chinese don't yet own to them, then get Trump to build us a wall and leave them to it. The Chinese can keep the bloody footbrawlers as well with their drugs, grog, domestic viollence and sexist and racist actions, see how long they last in Chinesland.

I agree with you 100% Oxleigh

It is about time that this government got it right -- they always seem to be too little too late -- they have had NO foresight at all and then they jump in over the top and have NO flaming idea how it will all work then they spend time and money trying to work it out.


The Chinese are inscrutable, brilliant but do not like egg on their face, take for instance my ancient ancester Chiang Kai-shek, cross him and you will not  be around to tell the tale.

Having said that, pray India does not become the best mate of China or what we will get is a fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisine and let me tell you that is no joke. Indians are already top class when it comes to technology and China wants to play Chinese Checkers with them!

Time is well up for us to be manufacturing our own stuff ALL OF IT -- we used to do this in the 40s and 50s and EVERYONE also had jobs -- and we also exported good stuff as well

If Morrisons says he wants JOB, JOBS JOBS then start doing something about it

Since you're so clever, why don't you formulate some plans and show the government how it's done.

Question: Do you cut your own hair?

If that was aimed at me Banjo darn right I cut my own hair

As far as showing the government anything -- they don't even have the manners to reply to a question you ask -- they come back with Polly talk like they do on TV that has nothing to do with the question asked!

The reason Australia doesn’t produce everything it consumes is simple. Specialising in production is the best way to make a profit. To generalise and try to produce goods you do not have the expertise for is nothing short of stupidity.

Trade is about specialisation. All countries have limited resources, including Australia. Limited capital, labour, energy and materials, with which to produce things to sell to other countries. In order to survive, a country has to produce things that it is good at making and which can bring the most money on international markets. No country is going to buy rubbish.

This process of specialisation, is a process that is delivered by markets, not governments, and is made possible by free trade. Therefore only a fool would deny the importance of China’s involvement in our economy. The cold hard truth is, we need China but they do not particularly need us.


Well Banjo we produced many things in the 40s & 50s and we did fine and had heaps of jobs as well -- we also used to build our own trains etc too -- but we don't now not even our new ice breaker ship was built here -- the last one was and she was a beauty -- even out war vessels are built O/S I think that is a stupid idea -- do we think that they would not put spyware in -- and by the time we get them they are out of date -- in fact, they were out of date when we ---g well ordered them.


Just more billions wasted by this lot