China has been a slight drag on BHP Billiton’s growth expectations but remains and important driver for the giant mining company.
Chairman Jac Nasser says he sees strong growth in demand for commodities overall from Asia.
“In China, which accounts for about 30 per cent of our revenue, weaker trade and softer manufacturing activity have been a slight drag on growth,” he told the BHP annual general meeting in Perth.
“However, despite slowing slightly, China’s growth remains an important driver for our industry.
“In the past 20 years, more than 650 million people have been lifted out of poverty in China alone.
“It is expected that another 250 million people will move from the countryside to cities over the next 15 years.”
Nasser says China and other emerging economies will be the major drivers of global economic growth in the long term, which could deliver up to a 75 per cent increase in demand for some commodities over the next 15 years.
Australia is one of the few countries well placed to supply this increased demand for commodities.
This chart shown to the annual general meeting shows BHP believes China’s economic growth will be around seven per cent per year.