FORMER Rio Tinto executive Michael Komesaroff believes the debate over Chinese investment in Australia -- which reignited this week when Tony Abbott flagged tighter conditions for Beijing's state-owned companies -- has ignored one key point: the communist giant is a dud investor.As best as I can tell Mr. K. was Prez of Rio Tinto Japan and VP Strategy for the aluminum biz.
"You tell me one successful mineral resource project they've got anywhere in the world," says Komesaroff, who has worked for the Chinese government in Beijing and is now a consultant to some of the world's biggest mining companies.
"How I define success: was the project delivered on budget and on time, and was the China brand damaged? I can't think of any."
While Australia has been tying itself up in knots over the rising level of investment by China's state-owned enterprises, the results of Beijing's spending on the ground have been dismal and its policymakers are growing increasingly anxious about the poor returns.
State-owned miners, says Komesaroff, have wasted billions of dollars on ill-conceived ventures in Australia and elsewhere, because they have mistakenly attempted to copy their methods at home in a foreign setting.
China, of course, is a very different place from Australia, where truck drivers in the mining industry earn $150,000 a year, unions complain about work conditions, environmental approvals are a headache and governments change policies on a whim....MORE
Friday, July 27, 2012
Former Rio Tinto VP: "China fears unfounded because it's a 'dud investor' "
From The Australian: