Australia will be unable to go it alone and needs foreign investment to ensure the future of its resource industry’s development, BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers said last night.
Speaking at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Kloppers said that Australia needs foreign investment to build projects substantial enough to maintain its place in the market as China leads a major increase in demand for commodities.
“Although clearly not simple, a part of the solution lies in continued foreign investment,” he said.
“Meaning that both Australia and Australian companies need to be open to this kind of investment,” he said.
With multiple resource projects totalling approximately $80 billion currently in the late stages of planning, Kloppers believes Australia needs a large pool of capital from which to draw in order to maintain its position as a leading supplier to the increasing Asian market.
Despite increasing commodity demand and BHP’s relative strength in the face of the economic downturn, Kloppers remains cautious about the future.
“Despite the positive signs, we still do not know if the financial crisis is completely over,” he said.
“There is still a lot of hardship out there and I think that on balance we have seen the world come out of this recession a little bit more slowly than we’ve seen in other events,” he said.
“We remain relatively cautious in the short and medium term.”