On 8 March 2017, the Government released its latest consultation paper on the foreign investment framework. Along with considering the application of the framework to land, the consultation paper also considers the impact of the framework on foreign investors who propose to invest in low sensitivity businesses.
A timely, streamlined and efficient pre-approval process is a welcomed and positive step as the Government recognises the importance of foreign investment to the Australian economy.
The consultation paper seeks to address the limitations and the unintended consequences flowing from the current framework implemented on 1 December 2015 including approval being required from the Foreign Investment Board on small business transactions which did not pose a significant national interest. The consultation paper considers three different options applicable to non-sensitive business proposals. The first option is to do nothing. The second option is to introduce two new types of exemption certificates, the first being for acquisition of interests in securities and the second being for foreign government investors only. The third option is to exempt acquisitions of securities in an entity where the consideration is $100 million or less.
All submissions must be provided to:
ForeignInvestmentConsultation@treasury.gov.au by Wednesday, 29 March 2017.
For further information please contact: