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New report examines opportunities to improve economic growth

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New report examines opportunities to improve economic growth

The Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth has released a report examining how the Australian Government could support businesses and diversify trade markets and sources of foreign investment. 

As was shown in “Pivot: Diversifying Australia’s Trade and Investment Profile”, Committee Chair George Christensen revealed that the country should take the opportunity to pivot towards new export markets and trade and investment opportunities in order to support sustainable economic growth. 

“The Committee has recommended that the Government develop a plan for trade diversification and examine options to expand domestic investment and production. These reforms will protect Australia from the risks of having too many eggs in one basket,” Committee Chair Christensen said. 

“Diversifying the range of products and services that Australia exports, including through greater support for future-focused and innovative industries, will further ensure Australia is not overexposed to trade disruptions or shocks in any one export market.” 

The Committee also recommended protecting Australia’s national interest and national security, particularly in sensitive and critical sectors. 

The Committee has also made 21 recommendations in the report, which include the following: 

  • Developing and releasing a plan for trade diversification, and continuing to create trade opportunities including in India, Vietnam and through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement 
  • Increasing industry awareness of national security and national interest risks related to trade and investment, particularly for sensitive and critical sectors 
  • Investigating new options for increasing domestic funding for universities, requiring universities to publicly disclose the receipt of funding from foreign state-linked bodies or individuals, and where the veto powers in Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020 allow, considering restrictions to foreign state-linked funding to Australian universities where the funding is not considered to be in the national interest 
  • Increasing Australia’s sovereign manufacturing capacity and ensuring that Australia has adequate supplies of key resources 
  • Greater support for the ‘industries of tomorrow’ 
  • A clear and consistent definition of the national interest for foreign investment 
  • Reporting on whether the leasing of the Port of Darwin to a foreign company will be subject to Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020, and 
  • Options for greater domestic investment, including through superannuation funds and consideration of a national development bank. 

SOURCE: PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA MEDIA RELEASE

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