National Farmers Federation demands transparent register of foreign investment as China FTA deal drags on
By Sarina Locke
4 November 2014
Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb is holding more free trade talks in Beijing this week, as a decade of negotiations reach their final stage.
Leaders of Australia’s dairy, meat and wine industries are on standby to provide more information for the official talks.
The National Farmers Federation’s President Brent Finlay says Australia should aim for an even better deal than New Zealand achieved.
"We’ve always talked about a New Zealand Plus deal. We were envious about what New Zealand was able to accomplish a number of years ago.
"Bilateral FTAs have to work for both countries, across a complicated agenda."
China wants similar treatment to Japan and Korea in lifting the threshold for Foreign Investment Review to $1 billion.
Mr Finlay wouldn’t be drawn on the value, saying only that the process needs to be transparent.
"The NFF position on foreign investment into agriculture in Australia is that we need it, we have a long history of it, but we need to know who is investing and at what levels, and a clear open transparent process. That’s why we support a national register."