In Beijing as part of a trade mission to China, Baillieu yesterday shrugged off concerns that the mining boom is over, talking about Victoria’s strong investment potential, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Addressing a mining industry dinner which included potential investors and senior officials, Baillieu said Melbourne was home to the headquarters of major miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Newcrest Mining, and that the conference – kicking off in 2014 – would help put Victoria on the map as the ‘true home of mining in Australia”.
As the largest global consumer of mining commodities and a significant investor in the mining industry, the conference would have a strong focus on China, Baillieu said.
The conference comes despite the announcement by the Australian head of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China – Han Ruixiang – saying he planned to scale back lending to the Australian resources sector amid falling commodity prices.
But Baillieu remained confident that foreign investment would continue to grow in Victoria with both ICBC and China Construction Bank to open branches in Melbourne, expected to invest total dealings worth $230 million and create 340 Victorian jobs.
“Victoria is built on foreign investment – it is good for our growing economy,” he said.
In a global mining survey released in February by the Fraser Institute, Victoria was voted as the worst state for miners to operate. The state placed 44th out of the possible 93 regions polled.
One mine manager slammed the state stating:
"Victoria inhibits exploration and mining through ridiculously obstructive conditions on licences, bowing to the complaints of a few at the expense of many".