On 9 December 2020, the Parliament passed legislation that gave effect to the most significant reforms to Australia’s foreign investment framework since 1975. Given the scope of the reforms and the importance of foreign investment to the Australian economy, the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Act 2020 included a requirement for the reforms to be evaluated over their first year of operation.
The evaluation considered submissions received from a range of stakeholders including peak industry bodies, investors and their advisers and foreign investment consultation partners.
The Secretary to the Treasury provided the evaluation to the Treasurer on 10 December 2021. Overall, the evaluation found that in their first year, the reforms had achieved the Government’s aims, particularly by ensuring that investments which may raise national security considerations are assessed by the Government.
The evaluation made seven findings, relating to the implementation of the reforms, foreign investment inflows, national security, compliance and enforcement, streamlining measures and exemption certificates, and foreign investment fees.