Changes to foreign investment framework in Australia

Australian Treasurer, Joshua Anthony Frydenberg, has announced changes to Australia’s foreign investment review framework, effective from 10.30pm AEST on Sunday 29 March 2020, relating to monetary thresholds and timeframes for reviewing applications.

Following the Treasurer’s announcement of Sunday, 29 March 2020, the threshold amounts which apply in determining whether particular foreign investments made on or after 10:30 pm (AEDT) Sunday, 29 March 2020 are subject to Australia’s foreign investment framework are now $0.

Effective from this date of announcement, all proposed foreign investments into Australia subject to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975  will require approval, regardless of value or the nature of the foreign investor.
To ensure sufficient time for screening applications, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) will work with existing and new applicants to extend timeframes for reviewing applications from 30 days to up to six months.

According to the Australian Government, this is not an investment freeze, but temporary measures that will remain in place for the duration of the current crisis. By temporarily reducing the foreign investment thresholds, the Australian Government will ensure appropriate oversight over all proposed foreign investment during this time.

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