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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
inbound investment 79 new guidelines would address the increasing interest from state-owned enterprises and provide clearer guidance on how Australia's national interest would apply. "The guidelines are non-discriminatory -- we apply them equally to investments by all foreign government entities. They do not target or restrict any particular country,'' he said in a major speech to the Global Foundation in Brisbane held in early December last year. China Minmetals vice president Mark Liu who drove the deal to buy most of OZ Minerals assets for US$1.3 billion in early 2009 said that Chinese investors would welcome clearer, more explicit policies for foreign investment. "I am a straightforward person,'' he told The Australian last December. "We would much rather have them say: 'you can do this or you cannot do this, we have certain regulations'." Teresa Ooi is a senior business writer for The Australian newspaper. AUST LIAN FINANCIAL MARKETS: OPEN FOR BUSINESS While the worst of the nancial crisis is behind us, its rami cations continue to be felt around the globe. Many countries, including the US and the UK, are in the process of implementing some form of nancial services tax to help pay for the enormous costs associated with capital injections into nancial institutions that were deemed too big to fail. e robustness of Australia's nancial sector ensured that no such capital injections were necessary in Australia, and no such taxes are being considered. A combination of many factors, including the size and sophistication of our pool of managed funds, good corporate governance and a best practice, comprehensive regulatory amework, saw the Australian nancial sector emerge om the nancial crisis in good shape. Australia is now looking to reap the dividends. e Government has already taken a number of measures designed to a ract more o shore business, including phasing down its withholding tax rate on certain distributions om among the highest to one of the lowest rates in the world. It has also recently received the Australian Financial Centre Forum report, which contains 19 recommendations aimed at further encouraging overseas investors and nancial services companies to do business in Australia. A key focus of the report is on removing uncertainties regarding the taxation treatment within Australia of cross-border nancial transactions. e Government will be responding in detail to the Report over coming months. Australia has always had a lot to o er overseas investors in terms of its quality of life, the integrity of its corporate governance system and the quality of its workforce. e nancial crisis has also highlighted the strengths of our nancial sector and of our regulatory amework. e 2010 Towers Watson Global Pension Survey illustrated that over the 10 years to 2009, Australia's pension market has been the fastest growing of the world's seven largest private pension systems (which include the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Netherlands and Switzerland). ese advantages, along with the Government's ongoing commitment to sensible reforms, highlight the fact that Australia's nancial sector remains very much open for business. CHRIS BOWEN Federal Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law AIRLINES ARE SEEKING SOUTHERN SKIES AS A TRAINING GROUND FOR THEIR PILOTS. BY FRANK WALKER Aspiring pilots who want to y for China's booming airline industry are coming to Australia to learn to y in what is a fast-growing AU$200 million industry. Australia is one of the best places in the world to develop piloting skills, with wide-open clear skies, vast sparsely inhabited stretches of land, relatively stable weather and an air safety record that is the envy of the world. China's largest airline, China Southern, led the way 15 years ago when it paid just AU$1 for a remote aerodrome in the Western Australian wheat-farming town of Merredin, 257 kilometres east of Perth. Since then the fast-growing Chinese airline has transformed the China Southern Western Australian Flying College into a major training centre for its pilots. Every year more than 200 Chinese edgling yers head to the country town to get expert instruction from experienced Australian pilots. By the end of their training, the young Chinese pilots are ready to go back to the airline's nishing school at Zhuhai in Guangdong Province where they will be trained in the cockpits of Boeing and Airbus aircra . e program has been such a success that more than 1000 pilots trained at the Western Australian ying school are now ying for China Southern, which has rapidly become one of the biggest airlines in the world. Australian pilot training has gained such respect that other international airlines are choosing to send their trainees. e international Emirates Airlines based in Dubai decided to shi its training program from the United States to Australia because of the skills available and the ease of access. "We have found a more cost-e ective alternative in Australia," says Emirates spokesman Mike Simon. ere are ve major ying schools in Australia that teach students for international airlines. ousands of Chinese have earned their wings in Australia, which is considered to have the world's most sophisticated and safety conscious training methods. Boeing and Virgin Airlines have built a AU$45 million joint venture ying school in Brisbane which is training 250 students a day in classrooms, sophisti- cated ight simulators and in the air. Last year the Civil Aviation University of China in Tianjin and China Eastern, struck an agreement with the Queensland government to send cadet pilots to the new Brisbane ying school, Flight Training Australia. Now Asian private industry is also investing in Australian pilot training in a big way. Chinese billionaire Chun Ming Li of the Beijing Youlong Group this year struck a deal to buy a ying school in the picturesque New South Wales coastal town of Port Macquarie with the aim of turning it into a major private international ying school to meet the demands of the booming Chinese aviation industry. It is estimated that over the next 20 years China will become the world's second biggest aviation market a er the US, and China will need an extra 55,000 captains to y the planes. BLUE SKY BUSINESS