Australian Bureau of Statistics
5331.0 - Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, Concepts, Sources and Methods, 1998
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/09/1998
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12.12 While Foreign Investment Review Board statistics may appear at first glance to be a useful source for data on foreign direct investment in Australia, there are substantial differences between these statistics and ABS balance of payments and international investment statistics. These include differences in coverage, concepts and timing. For example, Foreign Investment Review Board data only measure proposals approved in the relevant period, for inward investment that require Commonwealth Government approval. They do not cover investment levels, investment income, or actual transactions and other changes in inward or outward investment; all these aspects are covered in balance of payments and international investment statistics. In some situations, approved projects do not proceed. Also, the Foreign Investment Review Board adopts a different concept of ‘foreign interest’. For example, if an Australian subsidiary of a non-resident enterprise purchased land in Australia using funds sourced within Australia, the Foreign Investment Review Board would include the full amount in its approvals statistics as it would regard the subsidiary as a ‘foreign interest’. However, this transaction would be excluded from balance of payments and international investment statistics as the subsidiary would be regarded as an Australian resident entity and the financing of the purchase would not involve changes in foreign financial assets or liabilities.
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