Tony Abbott: Australia welcomes foreign investment

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has left little doubt that the country is more than willing to accept foreign investment.

In a joint press conference with foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop, he stressed that the country has always welcomed such investment and this will continue into the future.

"There are rules for foreign investment in Australia, as there are rules for foreign investment in most countries and we’ll play it by those rules but we do welcome foreign investment and if some Indonesian joint ventures in cattle are an important part of getting this trade re-started, well please, bring them on," Mr Abbott said.

In particular it seems that the country is chasing Indonesian investors, claiming it is "a little embarrassing" that Australia currently trades less with the country - which boasts 250 million people - than New Zealand, which has just four million citizens.

Mr Abbott said that while he hopes to continue to trade with New Zealand, increasing dealings and investment with Indonesia is high on the agenda. "There is vast upside scope for this," he explained. "One per cent would be about a doubling of where we are now but let’s not be content with that."

However, all investment must be in Australia's national interest, enabling the country to create jobs and stimulate economic activity. Proposals must also pass the review process.

Yet, investors should beware of changes taking place in Australia, namely the reduction of the threshold for the purchase of agricultural land to $15 million.

Mr Abbott claims this will prevent the country from being locked up, but will assure Australians that "the foreign investment we welcome really is in our own best interests".

He stressed that under no circumstances is overseas activity bad for Australia. In fact, trade and investment enable the country to become richer.

TMF Group helps firms from around the world to invest in Australia. Local experts facilitate overseas expansion, taking care of administrative hassles and legalities associated with the move. This ensures that the process runs smoothly and proposals benefit both businesses and the Australian economy.