Resource sectors: Commonwealth Business Forum keynotes
IRJ – October 26 – The Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF), now taking place in Perth, Australia, saw Prime Minister Julia Gillard reiterate the “Asian century” declaration made originally by former Leighton Holdings chief, Wal King, speaking to The International Resource Journal in December, 2010.
Making the statement during her keynote speech, inaugurating the event, Gillard said that booming economic growth in Asia is repositioning global wealth and opportunities, causing a shift from the West to the East. She also advised these economies, including China, to avoid protectionism and foster domestic business and market-leading change, and said that Europe’s ongoing eurozone issues need greater effort in order to be resolved.
Also speaking at the meet, on October 25, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) chairman and mining industry mouthpiece, Andrew Forrest, addressed the October 20 per cent iron ore price slump and maintained that long-term Chinese demand will surpass recent market turbulence.
“'As far as the price fall goes, it will be a temporary dip,” he told attendees.
Echoing his optimism, Rio Tinto’s Australia CEO and iron ore chief executive, Sam Walsh, put the price drop down to Brazilian iron ore giant, Vale SA, and its “shipping material that was destined for Europe into China.”
Mining mogul and Hancock Prospecting head, Gina Rinehart, spoke about the Australian mining market’s requirements. She said that while carbon and resource royalties tax moves had dampened exploration drilling in historic mining hubs in Western Australia, “a bright future is not a forgone conclusion.
“You've always got to remember we're not the only people with commodities,” she said in her address.
“As my father used to say, “minerals are not like crops of wheat or wool that grow every year; we have got to find more each year and more each decade if Australia’s standards of living are to continue”.”
Oil and gas giant Woodside’s head, Peter Coleman, spoke in agreement when he said that investors might “simply pick up stumps and move” focus to other resource abundant nations, should the current state of play in Australia remain as is.
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