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Aust mining prowess on show at top Latin American expo

21 September, 2007

Austrade, the Australian Government’s export development agency, has reinforced Australia’s mining status as a world leader with 36 leading Australian companies participating at Peru’s Extemin 2007 – one of Latin America’s largest mining trade shows.

Austrade's Lima-based Senior Trade Commissioner, Nicholas Baker, said while traditional Australian exports such as milk and cream products remain popular with Peruvians, mining and minerals are now the keys to our business success.

"Peru ranks among the world's top seven mining countries with large reserves of copper, silver and zinc. Opportunities exist for exports of mining services, equipment and technology in both underground applications and open-cut mining," Baker said.

"Australia is seen as a quality provider of mining goods and services as well as a major investor, particularly as Australian companies and brands are almost iconic and are part of the mining landscape.

"This relationship will be further enhanced by the recent landmark mining and energy trade agreement signed between the two countries following APEC which will improve economic collaboration," Baker said.

The latest agreement strengthens political and economic ties between the two countries and comes on the back of Peru joining the Cairns Group earlier this year, which strengthened issues on agricultural trade.

"Extemin is Latin America's premier mining trade show which attracts over 250 exhibitors and 13,000 buyers and is the best location on the South American continent to view the latest in mining equipment," Baker said.

Austrade's Sydney-based Senior Export Adviser, Craig Senger, who also attended Extemin 2007 to assist exhibitors, said this year’s group was the largest to-date, occupying 21 stands at Austrade Lima's Australia pavilion.

"The pavilion included suppliers of mining equipment and services, including a delegation from the Queensland State Government. Exhibitors included Ryco, Xstrata Technologies, Maptek, Orica, Duratray, Gekko, J-Tek, Ausproof and Acquire Software," Senger said.

"Other major Australian exhibitors included BHP Billiton, Xstrata Copper and Rio Tinto who are major investors in Peru, owning some of the largest operating and exploration mine sites." 

According to Austrade research, there are around 138 Australian companies exporting to Peru and Austrade Lima has almost 50 on its books locally.

Australia's trade relationship with Peru has increased in recent years, with bi-lateral trade between the two countries in 2006 totalling almost $160 million and Australian trade making up $93 million, an increase of 35 per cent compared to the previous year.

Australian investment in Peru is at around $1.7 billion thanks mostly to investment in the mining sector.

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