Last month former Assistant Treasurer Mark Arbib and Acting Minister for Agriculture Simon Crean released the publication Foreign Investment and Australian Agriculture. This was commissioned by the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC) and prepared by the Australian Bureau for Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
Senator Arbib said the report provided a clear picture of existing foreign investment in Australian agriculture and addressed community concerns in this area.
“Foreign investment improves the food security of Australians by increasing agricultural production and boosting employment and incomes in the sector, with broader benefits for the Australian economy,” Senator Arbib said.
Mr Crean said the report highlighted the current foreign ownership of agricultural land, businesses and water entitlements in Australia, which have remained relatively unchanged from almost 20 years ago.
“This report confirms that foreign investment will continue to play an important role in the diversification of the Australian food processing and agricultural value-adding industries,” he said.
“As new markets emerge in Asia, Australia is well positioned to play to its strengths and take advantage of the opportunities.”
The report is available at www.rirdc.gov.au