The Treasurer has announced changes to Australia’s foreign investment review framework, effective from 10.30pm AEDT on Sunday 29 March 2020, relating to monetary thresholds and timeframes for reviewing applications. Details are available in our Guidance Note, updated on 18 May 2020, which addresses the effects of the changes. All material on this website should be read in light of the Treasurer’s announcement.

The 2017 18 Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) Annual Report is now available.

Did you know that in 2017-18…

… the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) reviewed a significant number of high profile foreign investment applications, including the acquisition of the Whyalla steelworks and the acquisition of Australia’s largest diagnostic imaging provider, I-MED Radiology Network?

… over 11,000 proposed transactions were approved representing potential investment of $163.1 billion?

…the value of residential real estate approvals declined from $30.0 billion in 2016-17 to $12.5 billion in 2017-18?

…the services sector attracted the highest value of approved investment ($63.2 billion, representing 39 per cent of the total value of approved investment), with the value of approvals in health care doubling (from $3.6 billion in 2016-17 to $7.3 billion in 2017-18)?   

…China and the United States continued to be the top two sources of approved investment, but for the first time since 2012‑13, the United States surpassed China?

…Treasury undertook audits of compliance with conditions of approval relating to over $25 billion of proposed investment?

…the ATO identified 600 properties in breach of the foreign investment framework leading to one‑fifth of these properties having to be sold and in most circumstances, a financial penalty being imposed?

For more interesting information about the work of the FIRB, approval trends and compliance activities, check out the 2017-18 FIRB annual report.