Australian ministers responsible for trade and investment today resolved to maintain a focus on developing high quality pipelines of Australian investment opportunities across areas of national priority.

The third Trade and Investment Ministers’ Meeting, chaired by Federal Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb in Hobart, brought together representatives from the states and territories and the Australian Government.

Previously, ministers agreed on five national priority investment sectors: agribusiness and food, resources and energy, major infrastructure, tourism infrastructure and advanced services, manufacturing and technology.

At today’s meeting they welcomed the strong growth in the tourism investment pipeline. New figures released in the latest Tourism Investment Monitor show Australia’s tourism investment pipeline grew by 9 per cent to $53.7 billion in 2014.

Accommodation projects alone were valued at $8.5 billion, providing a potential 15,915 new rooms to the current stand-alone accommodation supply. 

Mr Robb said there were positive signs across all five priority investment sectors, but Australia had to work hard to maintain its status as a premium investment destination.

“The world is awash with mobile capital, but also nervous investors who are on the look-out for high-quality investment opportunities and competition to attract this investment is increasingly fierce. As a consequence we need to all do what we can to convert interest into actual investment, including crucial reinvestment, to realise high quality projects,” he said.

“Today we discussed ways to help smooth the transition between investment proposal and investment reality. Investors need certainty and governments can help provide this though efficient and timely regulatory and approval processes.”

The ministers also agreed to work constructively together in tackling impediments to foreign investment, including perceptions around sovereign risk.

Mr Robb said while investment promotion and attraction would always be important, facilitation work was also quite critical in helping investors navigate their way in Australia.

“The Federal Government, for example, has appointment five Senior Investment Specialists from the private sector across priority areas, who work with the states and territories to identify opportunities and potential investors and assist them in pursuing these,” he said.

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