Can Aus afford to be choosers on foreign investment?

Australia can’t afford to turn its nose up at foreign investment in its agriculture sector and risks losing out to other countries if it does, according to David Goodfellow, chief executive officer at Rifa Australia.

Speaking to bluenotes on video and in a podcast, Goodfellow said competition was high as massive investments head into agriculture within countries around the world.

“I think Australian agriculture is in need of capital,” he said, echoing the findings of ANZ’s insight report Greener Pastures. “There's no doubt about that. That capital needs to come from somewhere to reinvest into our future, otherwise we're going to get left behind in the dust.”

" That capital needs to come from somewhere to reinvest into our future, otherwise we're going to get left behind in the dust." Mark Bennett.

“We can't afford to put up a fence and say, ‘No, we don't want overseas capital here in Australia’ because it will find a home somewhere.”


Goodfellow said it was important the investment came in the right form – not just the buying and selling of farmland, for instance.

“We need that capital to work hard for the benefit of everyone in our industry,” he said.


Addressing Chinese investment in Australia, Goodfellow said the highly publicised flow of capital had largely stopped in early 2017 with the tightening of controls in the Asian giant.

“It’s likely the prohibition will be in place at least until the new government's announced early in the New Year,” he said. “Whilst we might be seeing a small rain check, if you like… we'll get a bit more clarity around that early in the next New Year.”

Watch the video above or listen to the podcast to find out more.

Mark Bennett is Head of Agribusiness at ANZ

Rifa Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Zhejiang Rifa

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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