Business / Economy

Australia must not 'close the door' on foreign investment: Chinese investment tycoon

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-26 09:52

CANBERRA - The Chinese investment mogul behind the vetoed $285 million bid for Australia's largest pastoral land holding said he had "given up" the dealing with Australia, urging the government not to "close the door" on foreign money.

Charles Liu, founder and chairman of billion dollar company HAO Capital, told local media on Monday that the MalcolmTurnbull's government's "protectionist" attitude toward Chinese and foreign investment would continue to discourage investors from taking their money there.

Liu, who has invested in Australia for 20 years, said the process surrounding the failed bid for pastoral company S. Kidman and Co. was reminiscent of the "unfortunate trend" of closing the door on Chinese money by other Western nations.

"(The government) should have made clear at the beginning (of the Kidman & Co bidding process) -- if that were the case - that a Chinese bid would not be acceptable," Liu told The Australian newspaper.

"If this is the attitude of the Australian government, one has to totally give up on the Kidman deal."

He added that Australia's previous Tony Abbott-led federal government which put together the historic China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) "was quite supportive, and then came the change of the administration".

Liu said Australia seemed to be heading down the same path as other Western nations which have been hesitant to fully embrace a global marketplace and economy, adding that his concerns were shared by "many people in China".

"This is an unfortunate trend developing in Western countries today, with de-globalization and xenophobia, populism and protectionism on the march," Liu said.

"Domestic politics in the West, including in Australia, is increasingly heading in that direction the massive change under way in countries' ethnic composition."

"It's unfortunate that entrepreneurial and hardworking Chinese people get caught up in this negativity, everyone being lumped together."

Liu said Australia should continue to embrace Chinese money as "there aren't so many people with deep pockets any more except the Chinese".

"If people take a positive attitude, then an overwhelming amount of business can be done," he said.

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