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Why not let agriculture benefit from foreign investment?

Garnett, A.M. (2013) Why not let agriculture benefit from foreign investment? The Conversation, 4 November .

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Why do we clamour to keep foreign-owned car makers here, paying them billions of dollars to stay, while being wary of foreign investment in farms?

Around 0.1% of foreign investment last year was in agriculture, with mining receiving 30%, manufacturing close to 19% and the rest in various service industries.

We know that foreign investment creates jobs and brings new technology and production methods. We don’t want the mining boom to suddenly stop and neither do we want foreign investors to pull out of our struggling manufacturing sector.

There is no reason why we should wish anything less for our agricultural sector.

Recent interest in buying farmland has come from Chinese and Indonesian companies, whereas in the past, overseas investment in farmland has been mainly from US and British companies, which are still by far the main players in foreign-owned farmland in Australia.

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Management and Governance
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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