Australia mirrors US/ChinaCo FDI concerns

Author: Ashley Lee | Published: 20 Jun 2013
  • Shuanghui’s acquisition of Smithfield has prompted concerns in the US related to ChinaCo agricultural investments;
  • After Chinese-led consortium’s acquisition of cotton farm Cubbie Station, the political opposition in Australia is calling for changes in its foreign investment laws;
  • To complete these acquisitions smoothly, ChinaCos must focus on concerns at the local, state and federal levels.

US agricultural concerns prompted by Shuanghui’s acquisition of US pork producer Smithfield Foods could reignite similar Australia/China issues.

ChinaCos have also targeted Australian agriculture assets. In August 2012, Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE) Shandong RuYi Scientific & Technological Group purchased Australia’s largest cotton farm, Cubbie Group.

Although the deal was approved contingent on the acquirer selling down its interest from 80% to 51% in three years, the opposition’s Senate leader Barnaby Joyce said that the deal was a disgrace.

In the same month, the National party released a discussion paper on...