Japan ranks second only to the United States of America in terms of foreign direct investment into Australia. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Japanese investment amounted to a cumulative A$91 billion in May 2017—double the level of investment in 2009.
The importance of Japanese investment remains unchanged from the time of the signing of the 1957 Commerce Agreement, but its nature has continued to evolve. From the 1960s to the mid-2000s, Japanese investment was primarily focussed on securing minerals, energy and food for export to Japan. This was achieved through minority interests in joint ventures.
The last 10 years has seen a distinct ‘second trend’ of direct investment in the Australian domestic market. These recent acquisitions have targeted revenue and profit growth in overseas markets as Japanese investors seek a natural hedge to Japan’s demographic challenges of an ageing and declining population.
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© Herbert Smith Freehills 2021