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Policy changes to open up deals for firms: lawyer

Policy changes to open up deals for firms: lawyer

The number of stalled deals for law firms representing Chinese investors into Australia is expected to decrease thanks to recent government changes to foreign investment policy.

THE number of stalled deals for Australian law firms representing Chinese investors into Australia is expected to decrease thanks to recent government changes to foreign investment policy.

The Federal Government's changes to foreign investment policy and the resources taxation reforms are expected to be well received by potential Chinese investors in the Australian resources industry, an Allens Arthur Robinson partner said.

Jeremy Low, a partner at Allens, said recent Government policy changes are helping to address the key concerns of Chinese investors.

“In recent times, our clients have been telling us that their main concerns are a lack of clarity to the Government's rulings in relation to permitting foreign investment and uncertainty due to the Resource Super Profits tax. Based on our experiences recently, this has resulted in number of stalled deals,” said Low.

Last week, Allens held a seminar for potential Chinese investors to provide them with information on how the Government was addressing these concerns via recent changes to Foreign Investment Policy and the new Minerals Resource Rent Tax.

Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, Martin Ferguson, attended the seminar and provided an update on key regulatory and policy changes that will guide the next wave of Chinese investment in the resources sector.

“There was a lot of interest at our seminar from Chinese investors. A number commented to me that they see the Government's recent announcements as a positive step towards providing more clarity and removing some of the uncertainty,” said Low.

On Wednesday, 30 June 2010, the Federal Government announced changes to Foreign Investment Policy that provides more detail and definition on the approach the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) will take for the approval of acquisitions of businesses by foreign companies in Australia.

“The policy effectively formalises the considerations that the FIRB has been taking into account for a number of years,” said Low.

“To capture this in policy makes it easier for foreign investors to be clear on how to engage with FIRB.”


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