Chinese investment in Australian infrastructure assets: accounting for local public preferences

Publication Type:
Journal Article
China Economic Journal, 2019, 12 (1), pp. 77 - 92
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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Chinese investment in Australian infrastructure assets can bring economic benefits for both countries. However, it can also create domestic political challenges. This is because Australian public support for foreign investment in infrastructure is limited. In order to better inform public policy and firm decision-making in both China and Australia, this paper undertakes a choice modelling analysis of original survey data to determine the drivers of local public preferences. The Australian public is found to be more concerned by the share of foreign ownership an investment will bring rather than the fact it is from China. Accounting for these preferences, such as through the recruitment of local partner companies, will facilitate Chinese investment in Australian infrastructure, and potentially, greater bilateral engagement on the Belt and Road Initiative. The Australian case might also offer wider lessons for Chinese investment in infrastructure assets abroad.
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