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BHP Billton sees China's growth key driver for resources industry

Updated: 2013-11-21 16:18
( Xinhua)

SYDNEY -- Global miner BHP Billiton Chairman Jac Nasser said on Thursday that China's economic growth remains an important driver for the resources industry.

Speaking at the company's annual general meeting in Western Australia's Perth on Thursday, Nasser said while weaker trade and softer manufacturing activity in China have been a slight drag on growth relative to expectations, the country's employment conditions and income growth remain resilient.

"We believe the Chinese government has the room and flexibility to pursue reforms that support its policy of stable, long term growth," he said.

"We expect the Chinese economy to grow at over 7 percent next year."

"China and other emerging economies will be the major drivers of global economic growth in the long term, which could deliver up to a 75 percent increase in demand for some commodities over the next 15 years."

He said Australia is one of the world's few countries that are well placed to supply the increased demand for commodities.

"Therefore, we believe our company remains well positioned to contribute to the prosperity of the regions where we operate, including Australia," he added.

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie said the company expects to increase production by 8 percent a year over the next two years.

"We are increasing our focus on our four pillars - iron ore, petroleum, copper, and coal, and we continue to operate our aluminum, manganese and nickel businesses as efficiently as possible," he said.