APEC: Insights and Possibilities for Australian METS
Our CEO, Chris Gibbs Stewart, recently attended the 9th Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) Mining Task Force (MTF) workshop and meeting in Cebu as a guest of the Australian Government. Her role at the meeting was to discuss approaches to improving the mining trade and investment environment in APEC and participate in a public-private sector dialogue to share with mining officials the trade and investment barriers faced by member companies in the region.
Chris presented about Australian METS at the meeting and stressed the need to focus not only on mining’s commodity outputs, but on the high-tech inputs contributed by METS. It was noted that the concept of METS was very new to many economies, and more education is needed of senior officials, bureaucrats and political leaders on the contribution and importance of METS from a revenue, export, employment and innovation point of view. It was acknowledged that Australia leads the way in the promotion and organization of its METS sector, with Canada and Chile also having active METS development programs.
The MTF agreed to include METS in its strategy going forward, and Austmine has been invited to be a permanent guest of the MTF.
The “Asia-Pacific mining sector study” was launched at the meeting which outlined the importance of mining to the APEC economies. Key findings from the report includes:
- APEC economies are crucial suppliers of mined commodities, collectively producing more than half of the world’s iron ore, more than 70% of its copper, nickel, silver, lead, zinc, bauxite and tin, and more than 90% of its coal and molybdenum.
- The mining industry can contribute as much as 24% to individual APEC economies’ GDP, while mining rents for APEC as a whole, accounted for more than $430bn in 2013.
- Government policies are important in attracting and sustaining investment in the mining industry. Governments are encouraged to adopt best practices to create favourable conditions for sustainable mining in relation to mineral potential.
- Mining companies should be highly sensitive to the environment where they are planning to operate.
Australia has a key leadership role to play when it comes to mining in APEC, given the dominance of our minerals industry and our world-leading technology and innovation, driven by our METS sector. In fact, the Australian Government has established the APEC Mining Sub-Fund with an initial AUD $1.2 million (USD $958,000) contribution. It will underwrite collaborative projects to guide APEC members in building policy regimes that improve the enabling environment for trade and investment in mining, while ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth.
Austmine is working to further the METS agenda in APEC, and is presenting its views to the Australian Government to ensure that mining and METS are firmly on our senior officials’ agenda and in particular has high visibility at the Leader’s Meeting in November.
For more information about APEC and the work of the MTF, please see http://www.apec.org/Home/Groups/SOM-Steering-Committee-on-Economic-and-Technical-Cooperation/Task-Groups/Mining-Task-Force
If you are interested in being involved in any Austmine APEC related work, please contact Chris on email@example.com or call (02) 9357 4660.