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Quick Guide: Key Investment and Investor-state Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Outcomes

Author:News    Creat time:2015-09-30 11:32

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) provides improved access and protection for Australian investors and investments in China, and promotes increased Chinese investment in Australia.

ChAFTA improves opportunities for Australian investors in China

China’s commitments on services in ChAFTA represent a significant improvement in the investment environment for a range of Australian services firms, including: health and aged care, shipping, architecture and urban planning, legal and mining services as well as financial services.

Under a most favoured nation (MFN) provision, included in ChAFTA, China has also committed to extend to Australia any more favourable treatment it provides to other countries under future investment arrangements.

ChAFTA promotes increased Chinese investment in Australia

ChAFTA liberalises the screening threshold at which private Chinese investments in non-sensitive sectors are considered by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) from $252 million to $1,094 million.

Australia retains the ability to screen investments at lower thresholds for agricultural land and agribusiness and for sensitive sectors, including media, telecommunications and defence-related industries.

The FIRB will continue to screen all investment by Chinese state-owned enterprises, regardless of the transaction size.
ChAFTA ISDS is a modern, balanced mechanism with explicit safeguards for legitimate public welfare regulation
Australian investors in China will be able to use the ISDS mechanism to protect their investments from discriminatory treatment.

The ChAFTA Investment Chapter and ISDS provisions contain explicit safeguards to protect legitimate government regulation in areas such as public health and the environment.

An ISDS claim under ChAFTA can only be made on the basis of a breach of either Party’s obligation to provide non-discriminatory (“national”) treatment to established investments of the other Party.

An ISDS claim cannot be based on a breach of commitments in another chapter.

Government decisions on investment proposals, such as those considered by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, cannot be challenged using the ISDS mechanism.

More detail on the investment outcomes can be found in the detailed fact sheet on investment and ISDS, or in the full text of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

(Reource:Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade