Restrictions on foreign investment by Japanese investors in Australia will be relaxed following Australia and Japan concluding negotiations for a free trade agreement titled the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) on 7 April 2014.

The screening threshold by the Foreign Investment Review Board for private Japanese investors in Australia will be raised from $248 million to $1.078 billion for non –sensitive sectors, which will bring it in line with existing agreements with New Zealand, the US and South Korea.  Lower thresholds will still apply in prescribed ‘sensitive sectors’ of Australian industry such as media, telecommunications, military type goods and services, transport and the extraction of uranium.  Australia has also reserved the right to screen proposals for investment in agricultural land and agribusiness below these thresholds.

At this stage, the full text of the JAEPA has not been released nor has the government advised of the proposed commencement date.  We will provide a further update once the full text of the JAEPA becomes available.