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From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report. Chinese investment in Australia has moved to the real estate market and construction equipment. It is yet another sign that Australia’s once strong mining industry is weakening, as Chinese businesses look for new places to invest.
For the first time, almost half of all Chinese investment in Australia is in real estate. Spending on roads, bridges and other infrastructure has also increased. The findings are in a report called “Demystifying Chinese Investment in Australia.” It comes from accounting company KPMG Australia, the University of Sydney Business School and the China Studies Center. Hans Hendrischke is a professor of Chinese Business and Management at the University of Sydney Business School. He says it is striking how Chinese investment changed from big projects in the mining and resources industries to a huge increase in real estate, leisure and construction. The Chinese bought one of the biggest cinema chains in Australia and one of the two biggest construction firms, John Holland. Last year, the Chinese invested $8.3 billion in Australia. The combination of real estate, entertainment, tourism, sports and infrastructure projects made up 79 percent of new Chinese business there. That compares with just 11 percent for mining. While real estate is the most popular investment, there is growing interest, too, in Australian agriculture. The falling value of the Australian dollar has made investments in the country more appealing. China is the sixth largest foreign investor in Australia. The United States and Britain invest more, but China’s investment is growing faster.