Rio and China share a proud and long history

17:09, June 08, 2010      

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Rio Tinto is proud to be a platinum sponsor of the Australian pavilion at the Shanghai Expo.

The company has been doing business in, and with, China for decades, long before the industrial powerhouse that we now see was even imagined.

Not only has the company been selling products to China, but it has also been in partnership with China longer than almost anyone else. Many commentators forget that the Channar mine in the Pilbara iron ore region of Australia was China's first significant investment outside its own borders.

That was 20 years ago, when the iron ore industry was in the doldrums, markets were depressed and Rio had few friends and partners willing to share the risks and support their vision.

So Rio is proud to showcase itself and Australia to Chinese visitors at the Shanghai Expo and continue that long relationship.

Rio Tinto and China are natural partners -the company is both a supplier and a customer to China. For several decades, they provided a range of key mineral commodities that have underpinned China's rapid growth and development.

And there can be few people unaware that Rio Tinto's capacity to grow has been largely powered by the growth of China over the past decade. So much so that by 2009 China had become the largest destination for Rio's products.

The two-way bond can be seen everywhere. For example, China provides Rio with important products like the railcars that deliver iron ore from mines to ports in Australia. Last year they purchased 2,500 such cars from China, one of the largest orders from any market.

It is fitting that those cars will carry the iron ore of Rio mines to the ports of Dampier and Cape Lambert, where their goods will be transferred to ships bound for Dalian and Tianjin and the other China gateways.

Rio has always considered the formation of partnerships and close cultural and personal bonds to be integral to their business engagement with China. Many of these are long-standing and remain very robust.

Rio would like to continue developing successful partnerships in China, such as those iron ore joint ventures established with Baosteel and Sinosteel.

The company's largest shareholder is Chinalco, a well-established and respected Chinese business. Their joint MoU on the Simandou project in west Africa highlights the way they can work together with strong Chinese companies like Chinalco on mutual opportunities.

A key priority for Rio for 2010 is to build on this past shared history and continue to strengthen relations with China. Their partnership with the Australian government as a platinum sponsor of its pavilion at the Shanghai Expo is one small way that Rio can continue to build these partnerships and bonds.

Source:China Daily


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