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Abstract

The activities of state-related pools of capital need to be understood within the context of an era of globalization, in which economic and political ties between many jurisdictions are deepening, A variety of modes of governance are emerging that have a capacity for impacts of broad international scope. The rising influence of more proactive state-led capitalism is one of the shaping variables in how the global economy has been changing swiftly in recent decades, and the effects of the Global Financial Crisis have arguably accelerated these structural shifts. This Article identifies three discrete phenomena in the state capital arena. First, the recent surge in state-led capitalism reflects centuries old traditions in trading and investment in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Second, recent rises in state capital investment reflect broader macroeconomic trends, in particular the rising economic influence of Asian economies and the decoupling effect of these structural trends on capital flows in global markets. Third, a key subcategory of state capital actors, Sovereign Wealth Funds, is gaining influence in global capital markets. This Article then focuses on the foreign investment regulatory regime in Australia and provides a detailed case study of Chinese investment in Australia.