Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said the opening of US investment giant TIAA-CREF Asset Management’s Sydney office is the latest vote of confidence in Australia by international investors.

With $US866 billion in assets under management, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA–CREF) will establish its first Asia-Pacific office in Sydney to manage its existing assets in Australia and develop operations throughout the region.

Mr Robb said Australia’s closer ties with Asia and our proximity to their markets, provides major incentives for overseas investors seeking to expand their portfolio offshore

“TIAA-CREF’s arrival demonstrates just how attractive Australia is to international business, and I welcome their presence as a sign of investor confidence in our region,” Mr Robb said.

“The Australian economy is now in its 24th year of consecutive growth; this together with the close relationships we’ve created through trade agreements with Japan, Korea and China, provides not only a stable and secure investment base, but also direct access to the world’s most dynamic markets,” he said.

Mr Robb said he’s held discussions this year with senior business people and investors in the United States, Canada and most recently Hong Kong, who are all eager to explore investment opportunities in Australia; underscoring the obligation governments – both federal and state – have in ensuring Australia maintains its reputation as a safe place to invest.

“Foreign investors like TIAA-CREF will continue to play an important role in supporting our future growth, so attracting new investment in priority areas such as infrastructure, agribusiness and tourism is a top priority for the government,” Mr Robb said.

“This involves creating an environment that’s conducive to growth and development.  To that end we’ve removed the carbon tax and the mining tax, and have pursued an aggressive deregulation agenda.  We’re also accelerating and streamlining project approval processes while planning record levels of infrastructure spending.”

Mr Robb said the Northern Investment Forum he will host in Darwin later this year, will also provide a platform to showcase the exciting investment opportunities Australia has to offer to major investors from around the world.

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