MAC: Mines and Communities

Apec Tackles Cross-border Barriers To Mining Investment

Published by MAC on 2007-02-10
Source: The Australian ()

APEC tackles cross-border barriers to mining investment

The Australian

10th February 2007

A TOP-LEVEL meeting in Perth next week will attempt to remove cross-border barriers to mining investment as part of a bid to ensure sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific.

The first of the year's Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation forum ministerial meetings in Australia has attracted around 15 ministerial representatives from the 21 APEC member countries.

APEC is the only inter-governmental grouping in the world operating on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants.

The third Ministers Responsible for Mining Meeting (MRM3) is aimed at building on previous discussions in Korea and Chile to strengthen the mining sector.

The APEC secretariat says MRM3 provides ministers with the chance to discuss challenges arising for producer and consumer economies from the rising demand for minerals and metals globally, and the development of new technologies and applications requiring new material.

The Perth conference will also hear from top industry executives from around the world, including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold, Xstrata and Peabody Energy, as well as representatives of non-government organisations critical of the mining sector.

Altogether more than 300 delegates are expected to attend.

Australia's delegation will be led by Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane, who will chair the meeting. Ministers will consider ways to remove behind-the-border measures that stifle and distort trade in minerals.

They will be aiming to introduce further regulatory reform, improve transparency and strengthen the capacity of government institutions to reduce cross-border trade and investment barriers in the minerals sector. They will also look at increasing technical co-operation to strengthen the minerals sector in all economies, to promote trade and create employment.

With environmental issues of major concern globally, ministers will also continue to discuss ways of ensuring mining materials are mined, used and disposed of responsibly.

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