Australia Welcomes Singapore Investors
In recognition of our longstanding friendship and growing trade and investment relationship, on 28 July 2003 a free trade agreement between Australia and Singapore entered into force, creating greater economic integration and bilateral relations between our countries.
Under this agreement, Australia agreed to provide a help desk to assist Singaporean business investors with direct investment applications in Australia. This was agreed in response to concerns expressed by Singaporean investors for more certainty and tangible assistance in the foreign investment application process.
The Help Desk’s Services:
- The help desk does not provide assistance with residential real estate applications.
- The help desk assists Singaporean business investors with the foreign investment
application process, including the provision of:
- advice on foreign investment policy and its administration in Australia;
- application forms and statutory notices;
- advice on how to complete forms and where to submit them;
- advice on any potential national interest concerns that proposals raise; and
- advice regarding statutory and non-statutory timeframes for assessing proposals.
- The help desk will provide advice to Singaporean business investors regarding the status of their applications.
- The desk will assist Singaporean investors to fulfil requests by the Foreign Investment Review Board for further information.
Our Commitment Under the Singapore/Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA)
Australia’s commitment under Annex 4-III(IV) of SAFTA:
- Australia shall establish a dedicated help desk to assist Singaporean
investors with direct investment applications to acquire existing Australian
businesses or establish new businesses, including purchases of property as an
integral part of the business. The help desk shall:
- assist investors to respond to further requests for information;
- provide information on any national interest concerns arising from these applications; and
- keep such investors up-to-date with the status of these applications.
- Australia shall review these applications from Singaporean investors expeditiously in accordance with its laws, regulations and policies.
- Unless an application to acquire an existing Australian business or establish a new business is denied, such application is deemed to be approved at the end of the statutory review period, or where notice of a statutory extension is given to the investor, at the end of the statutory period of extension.