Chinese investment in Australia has fallen by almost 60 per cent as Beijing shifts its focus towards developing nations that have signed up for its Belt and Road Initiative.

Despite record trade between the two nations, Chinese investment in Australia fell from $8.2 billion in 2018 to $3.4 billion in 2019, with 43 per cent fewer deals struck.

A new report from KPMG and the University of Sydney puts the plunge down to tighter Chinese regulations, a negative perception of Australia’s investment rules, and a shift towards Latin America and Belt and Road projects in developing countries.