State owned enterprises have accounted for around half of the $40.4 billion worth of Chinese commercial investment in Australia from 2014 to 2017, according to a new database launched by the Australian National University this week.
ANU launched its Chinese Investment in Australia Database earlier this week, based on a new methodology developed by the ANU East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
The database showed three were 262 transactions totalling $40.4 billion from 2014 to 2017, peaking in 2016 at $14.9 billion.
Last year, Chinese commercial investment in Australia totalled $8.9 billion.
While state-owned enterprises accounted for less than 20 per cent of transactions, those transactions were larger in size, making up 47 per cent of the value.
The database showed 88 per cent of total investment was connected to deals worth at least $100 million.
Over the three years from 2014 to 2017, mining investment totalled $9.9 billion, followed by rental, hiring and real estate services at $8.7 billion.
Transport, postal and warehousing investments totalled $5.4 billion, $3.9 billion went into electricity, gas, water and waste services, while there was $3.03 billion invested into Australia’s healthcare sector.
ANU project leader Peter Drysdale said the new methodology provided a new level of accuracy regarding Chinese investment in Australia.
“There has been a lot of recent discussion around Chinese investment in Austrlaia, in both policy circles and the public arena,” Professor Drysdale said.
“This database adds clarity around the scale and structure of Chinese investment in Australia tin away that we haven’t had before.
“The development of a transparent methodology for the construction of this database is a major contribution that I hope can be replicated by others to put together data on other foreign investment flows.”