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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
inbound investment 74 striking it rich The Global Financial Crisis has highlighted Australia's economic management -- and made the country so popular with overseas investors that companies are tackling enormous new projects costing billions of dollars. e energy sector, for one, is progressing a giant lique ed natural gas (LNG) project in Western Australia costing AU$43 billion and Australia's largest single resources project while a Spanish energy and construction rm giant has applied to build a 250-megawa solar thermal power plant in either Victoria or Queensland worth AU$1 billion. Another Spanish group is looking to spend AU$1.9 billion on wind farms. e government's stimulus package, strong regulatory regime and the robust demand for minerals means Australia has come out of the GFC with strong growth and prospects. e country also bene ts from its proximity to the next wave of economic action, known as Chindia -- China and India. Australia's success in a racting foreign money is not just about commodity exports. Its people's unique expertise is also in demand. e mining sectors have boomed in terms of mineral sales and have spawned innovative technology which is being exported across the planet. Sixty percent of the world's mines use According to the Australian Financial Review newspaper, China's 2009 imports of copper jumped 63 percent, aluminium surged 164 percent and iron ore was up 42 percent on the gure for the previous year. en there is India, the other powerhouse with strong potential as a partner for Australia. In 2008-9, bilateral trade between Australia and India amounted to over AU$13 billion -- in Australia's favour. Australian exports to India were AU$15.4 billion -- AU$13 billion of which comprises minerals while Australia imported AU$2.1 billion from India. Says Indian Consul- General Amit Dasguptal: "Indian investors are not speculators. We are not interested in a casual relationship with Australia, we are long-term investors." But, despite these standout gures and the headlines, the Japanese and Europeans are still the larger investors in Australia. e UK is the biggest foreign investor in the country, pu ing AU$427 billion into various local assets, followed by the US with AU$418 billion and Japan with AU$90 billion. Perhaps more importantly for the future growth of Australia, high-tech innovation is leading a second wave of investment and exports. South Australian mining so ware company Maptek recently won a major contract with Newmont Mining to provide a production management system for the company's gold mining operations in Nevada. When it comes to large capital items, some of the huge trucks used in mines throughout the world are designed and manufactured in Australia. "We are world leaders in mining technologies and services," says Dr Peter Lilly, the director of the Minerals Down Under program at national science organisation CSIRO. " We use our experience well." In Perth, Rio Tinto has connected its Australian mines to satellite links so workers more than 1000 kilometres away can remotely drive drilling rigs, load cargo and even use robots to place explosives. At the company's Pilbara mines, robotic machines -- guided by electronic eyes -- scoop out ore, dump it on conveyer belts and spray it to remove dirt and remove dust. Rival miner BHP Billiton is pioneering technology to engineer driverless trucks. ese are innovations which will soon spread throughout the global mining industry. ey are also symbolic of how an industry which appears to outsiders as just extractive, is actually the catalyst for extraordinary engineering and new technology. so ware developed in Australia. Technology and equipment developed by the mining sector is worth AU$2.5 billion in exports and is a racting inbound investment. Australia has always relied on foreign capital, but the players have changed. China's double-digit growth and appetite for resources has helped keep Australia's economy on an even keel, despite the GFC. China's imports have bolstered export volumes, sparking a second resources boom and boosting the value of the Australian dollar. It's a new relationship that has accelerated fresh thinking around where Australia's future lies. As Australia's economy expands and world engagement increases, there is no doubt the country's business and political emphasis is undergoing a seismic shi . Australia's Mandarin- speaking Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is well placed to ensure the debate focuses on the country's economic future. Recently, almost every economic commentator across the globe has ranged their sights on anything and everything that China is doing - and China is doing plenty. AUSTRALIA'S ECONOMIC FUTURE LIES FIRMLY WITH THE ASIAN POWERHOUSES OF CHINA AND INDIA. BY TERESA OOI We are world leaders in mining technologies and services like consulting and contracting. We exploit our experience well.