Chinese interest in the Australian resources market is set to reignite following the Federal Government's recent back down in relation to resources taxation and changes to foreign investment policy.
According to Allens Arthur Robinson partner Jeremy Low, the recent shift in government policy is going some way to alleviating 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," said Low.
"Based on our experiences recently, this has resulted in number of stalled deals."
Low said this seems to be changing, however, given the interest expressed by Chinese investors at a recent Allens seminar which provided potential investors with information on how the Government is addressing these concerns.
"A number [of Chinese investors] 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," he said.
Among the topics discussed at the seminar was the Government's change to foreign investment policy which provides more detail and definition on the approach the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in approving acquisitions of Australian businesses by foreign companies.
"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."
The Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, Martin Ferguson, also attended the seminar and provided information on key regulatory and policy changes which will guide the next wave of Chinese investment in the resources sector.