Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) will return to the prestigious Boao Forum for Asia this week as a Diamond Sponsor for the sixth consecutive year.
The annual conference, which runs from April 8- 11, is one of region’s most important with world leaders, business leaders, economists and academics gathering on the island province of Hainan in China to discuss topics ranging from reform, innovation and sustainable development. Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, will attend this year’s Forum, themed Asia’s New Future: Identifying New Growth Drivers, and make a key note speech during the opening ceremony.
The Forum has attracted nine foreign leaders including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, as part of his first visit to China as Prime Minister.
Fortescue Chairman and Founder Andrew Forrest, who has been invited by Premier Li to an exclusive meeting during the event, said Fortescue was proud to continue its close association with the Boao Forum.
“It is an honour for Fortescue to be included in the discussion to help cement one of the world’s most important bipartisan relationships,” Mr Forrest said.
“The Forum is one of the most significant platforms for dialogue among political, industry and economic leaders and this year’s theme speaks of the noble challenge we all face as leaders – finding new drivers for growth to continue unlocking the potential of the global economy.”
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Nev Power said Fortescue has long had a deep understanding of, and engagement with China, its largest customer and Australia’s largest trading partner.
Fortescue shipped its first cargo of iron ore to Baosteel, one of China’s largest steelmakers, in 2008 and has since supplied China with more than 300 million tonnes of iron ore.
“Since Fortescue’s inception in 2003, we have understood the importance of our relationship with China,” Mr Power said.
“Our commitment has been recognised by our 50 plus customers, many of whom joined us at our Solomon mine last month to celebrate the completion of our expansion to 155 million tonnes per annum. It has also been recognised by our shareholders. Hunan Valin’s strategic investment in Fortescue has been acknowledged in China with an award for one of China’s most successful offshore investments.
“The completion of our expansion affirms our position as a reliable and competitive supplier of iron ore, well-positioned to meet China’s growing demand as it continues its rapid urbanisation and industrialisation program.”
During the Forum, Mr Forrest will co-host the third China-Australia Senior Business Leaders’ Forum (SBLF). The SBLF, which was held for the first time during the Forum in 2013, was initiated with a preparatory meeting in 2012 by Mr Forrest, Mr Li Ruogu, Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank), Mr Wang Boming, Editor-inChief of the Caijing Magazine and Dr Geoff Raby, former Australian Ambassador to China.
The inaugural Forum marked the first business-to-business dialogue between Australia and China and facilitated discussions on challenges and opportunities in economic, trade, investment, cultural, philanthropic and political relations between the two countries. A number of high profile Australian business leaders will attend this year’s event.