Interview: China's import expo a signal of its commitment to further open up market, says Rio Tinto executive

(Xinhua) 13:34, November 07, 2023

SYDNEY, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE) "sends a strong signal on China's commitment to further open up its market," said Alf Barrios, Rio Tinto's chief commercial officer and China chairman.

"The CIIE has been a very important platform for China to share its development opportunities and to drive international cooperation with companies like Rio Tinto," Barrios said as the mining giant is seeking further growth through the grand trade fair.

After participating in the expo last year, the Anglo-Australian miner signed in May a long-term collaboration memorandum to be an exhibitor in the CIIE from 2024 to 2028, becoming the first Fortune Global 500 company to ink a five-year agreement with the CIIE Bureau.

"For Rio, a long-term agreement with CIIE reflects our commitment to deepen strategic cooperation with China," Barrios told Xinhua in a written interview.

He said that for multinational corporations, the expo is an important event to showcase their latest products, innovations and technologies, expand cooperation with Chinese partners, and tap the huge potential of this vibrant market.

Barrios hailed the outcomes of last year's CIIE where his company exhibited 14 mineral products and its green applications, and reached agreements with key partners in China. "There was tremendous energy at the expo and we were very pleased with the outcomes."

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Rio Tinto, as well as the 50th anniversary of its first iron ore shipment to China. Over the past half-century, Rio Tinto and China have forged a mutually beneficial relationship thanks to the latter's fast economic growth.

More than half of Rio Tinto's revenue comes from China, a growing source of goods and services for its global operations. The company's procurement in China in 2022 stood at 2.28 billion U.S. dollars.

"We have been privileged to participate in China's growth story. We believe China will continue to be a driving force of global economy and will provide materials China needs for its development," Barrios said.

He noted that Rio Tinto is focusing on long-term development, and that's why it values China's long-term vision, and its firm commitment to high-quality development and tackling climate change. Cooperation with Chinese partners in green transformation and decarbonization is also on the miner's agenda.

"China is an important pillar for our future. We continue to see opportunities here not only for trade, but also for strategic partnerships," Barrios said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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