Australian agriculture and fishing receives A$1.6bn foreign investment in Q1 2022

FIRB reported that 43 investments were made into agriculture, forestry and fishing worth a combined A$1.6bn in Q1 2022.

Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board has published its inaugural Foreign Investment Quarterly Report, covering the period July 1 to September 30, 2022, which recorded A$1.6 billion-worth ($1.08 billion; €1.01 billion) of approved investments into agriculture, forestry and fishing during the period.

The report is the first in what will be an ongoing quarterly series, following an evaluation of 2021 foreign investment reforms which found that regular performance reporting would improve transparency of how foreign investment is regulated in Australia.

FIRB reported that 43 investments were approved into the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors in the quarter ending September 30, with a total combined value of A$1.6 billion.

Future reports will compare investments on a quarterly basis. FIRB reported that 187 investments worth $8.5 billion were made in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, while 197 investments worth A$5.8 billion were made in the prior fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

The report does not break down investments further, by country or by type of investment within the broader category of agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Overall, though, FIRB reported that it had approved 404 commercial foreign investments (excluding residential real estate) across all sectors of the economy in the quarter, with a combined value of A$48.6 billion. This was an increase on the 2021-22 quarterly average of 391, but a decrease on the 2020-21 quarterly average of 581.

The US was the largest source of capital for commercial investment proposals by both number and value, responsible for 203 investments worth a combined A$11.5 billion in the quarter. Canada was second, with 118 proposals worth A$6.7 billion, and Singapore was third, with 81 investments worth A$4.8 billion.

FIRB also published data on its performance, recording that the median processing time of foreign investment applications for the quarter was 44 days, a reduction on the 52 days seen in 2021-22 and the 51 days seen in 2020-21. It also said that 25.5 percent of proposals were considered in 30 days or less, with 42.3 percent considered in 31-60 days – both an increase on previous years.