Outbound investment


CEDA will release a research report on 27 April 2017 that will examine Australia’s outbound investment. The report will assess whether Australia has the right institutional setting to support an outbound focus for business, and discuss case studies of successful foreign investments by Australian businesses.

For 200 years Australia has utilised foreign investment to develop its economic potential. However, as a mature economy, and with the end of the mining boom, outbound business investment will play an increasingly important role in the nation’s economic growth.

While there is considerable interest about inbound investment into Australia, the nature of the country’s outbound investment has received less attention. However, Australian businesses investment abroad can benefit these companies by exposing them to international markets, create high skilled jobs in Australia, integrate Australia in global value chains and increase the nation’s engagement with the region, contributing to economic growth.

With global economic growth increasingly being generated by developing economies, and the IMF describing the anaemic economic growth in the developed world as ‘the new mediocre,’ the importance of Asia’s economies has never been greater.

Internationalisation, through investment in offshore facilities, has received domestic criticism for shifting operational jobs out of Australia. However, such a shift could be vital for preserving remaining jobs and creating new roles in the domestic economy; and may also help companies to develop economies of scale or achieve logistics cost reductions.

This report will seek to examine:  

  • The current state of play of Australia’s outbound investment and historic flows of investment;
  • Whether Australia has the right institutional settings to support an outbound focus for business;
  • The need for Australian businesses to invest throughout the logistics and distribution chains when seeking export opportunities in Asia;
  • If Australia’s tax system supports outbound investment; and
  • Case studies of successful foreign investments by Australian businesses.

Chapters and authors

Chapter one: Outbound investment and the macroeconomy

Professor Renée Fry-McKibbin, Professor of Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy; and Associate Dean of Research, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australia National University (ANU)

Chapter two: Institutional settings: adopting an outbound focus

The Hon. Dr Craig Emerson, Managing Director, Craig Emerson Economics; President, Australia China Business Council NSW; Adjunct Professor, Victoria University College of Business; Columnist, The Australian Financial Review; and Council of Economic Policy Member, CEDA

Chapter three: The Asian Opportunity

Andrew Parker, Partner, PwC

Chapter four: Integrating Australian agriculture with global value chains

Professor Alice Woodhead, Professor University of Southern Queensland Greg Earl, Contributor, The Interpreter; and Board Member, Australia ASEAN Council; and Dr Shane Zhang, Senior Lecturer, University of Southern Queensland

Chapter five: De-risking Asia

Megan Mulia, Director, Research and Information, Asialink Business


Research release events

This report will be launched in Melbourne on 27 April 2017 with events to follow across Australia. 

Sydney | 2 May 2017       Adelaide | 3 May 2017     

Perth | 4 May 2017          

Brisbane | 8 May 2017

Sponsorship opportunities available

Align your brand with CEDA and communicate with hard-to-reach business, government and policy leaders by sponsoring this research report. Contact Sharon Braun, on 03 9652 8409 or email.

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