China and ASEAN to strengthen mining cooperation
China and ASEAN countries signed seven mining cooperation agreements valued at about 16.3 billion yuan ($2.59 billion) during the China-ASEAN Mining Cooperation Forum and Exhibition over the weekend.
The event, co-hosted by Chinese resource and commerce authorities and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region government, was held in Nanning, capital of Guangxi, from Friday to Sunday.
The event, on the theme "technological cooperation and scientific development of the mining industry", attracted more than 800 representatives from the government, commerce departments, trade organizations and mining associations, and mining specialists and entrepreneurs from China and ASEAN countries. The parties exchanged views on investment and regional cooperation in mining.
The hosts expressed a strong will to improve China and ASEAN countries' sustainable development capability in mining through technological cooperation and by boosting the sustainable recovery of economic growth at the national level with the powerful support of the mining industry.
Wang Min, vice-minister of the Ministry of Land and Resources of China, said mining is an important part of trade between China and ASEAN members. The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area provides a good platform for both sides to tap into the rich mining resources in ASEAN countries and China's advantages in technology, talent and capital.
Somhoune Rasasombath, vice-minister of Ministry of Energy and Mines of Laos, said: "The mining industry contributes a lot to the fiscal revenue of Laos. Its share in Laos GDP grew from 1.5 percent in 2002 to 7.8 percent in 2007. The trade volume of the mining industry, $1.63 billion, accounted for 60 percent of Laos' trade in 2012.
"Forty-eight foreign companies, including Chinese ones, are mining in Laos now. Hungry for technology, talent and funding, the government of Laos looks forward to deepening mining cooperation with all countries and promoting the sustainable development of the mining industry."
Wang Min suggested China and ASEAN focus more on cultivating mining talents through joint efforts. The forum serves as a good platform for both sides to promote various favorable policies for China-ASEAN FTA and strengthen exchanges of mining information, Wang said.
The China-ASEAN Mining Talent Exchange and Training Center was founded in Nanning of Guangxi during the forum, and is set to play an important role in training mining talents for ASEAN countries.
The representatives of mining enterprises and administrations in Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand who attended the forum expressed the hope that China and ASEAN countries can strengthen their technological cooperation in prospecting deep mines, develop clean energy and recover the environment of mines.
Chinese officials said the transfer and sharing of new mining and environmental technologies is very important for China-ASEAN cooperation.
China invested in 76 mining projects in ASEAN countries from January to April. Chen Wu, chairman of Guangxi, said Guangxi is willing to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN members in mining exploration and exploitation, information exchanges, training and equipment.
Representatives of ASEAN countries agreed to strengthen cooperation at the provincial and city levels, which they see as more practical and specific.