Friday, July 27, 2012

Former Rio Tinto VP: "China fears unfounded because it's a 'dud investor' "

From The Australian:
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. 
"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
As best as I can tell Mr. K. was Prez of Rio Tinto Japan and VP Strategy for the aluminum biz.