10 June 2015
Leading global mining and metals company Rio Tinto and the international policy think tank Perth USAsia Centre have announced a $1 million partnership to support the Centre’s core policy development, research, education and network-building programs. These programs highlight and strengthen Western Australia’s ties with the emerging economies of Asia, as well as the state’s strategic position at the fulcrum of the Indo-Pacific region.
Perth USAsia Centre CEO Gordon Flake announced Rio Tinto as the Centre’s foundation corporate partner in a ceremony with Rio Tinto’s chief executive – Iron Ore, China, Korea and Japan Andrew Harding and Paul Johnson, vice chancellor of The University of Western Australia. Rio Tinto is the first major corporate investor in the Centre’s core programs, which promote stronger relationships between Australia, Indo-Pacific countries and the United States.
Rio Tinto’s $1 million partnership is in the form of $250,000 per annum for the next four years.
“Situated as it is in the same time zone as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Beijing, Perth - with its economy deeply integrated with the region - provides a unique vantage point from which to address Australia’s interest in Asia and its expanding partnership with its long-standing ally, the United States”, said Mr Flake. “We’re excited to partner with a visionary company like Rio Tinto, which has a major global footprint and tremendous expertise throughout our region. This is a terrific endorsement of our efforts to promote strategic thinking, policy development, and stronger relationships across the Indo-Pacific.”
Mr Andrew Harding said the company was pleased to be the first major corporate investor in the Centre’s core programmes, which will promote and build upon important relationships in North America, Asia and Australia.
“This partnership will foster the already strong connections and future opportunities for our business in these critical regions, including academic and policy programmes to increase industry participation, technology development and strategic community and stakeholder engagement.
“Whilst positive and enduring relationships underpin our operations in Western Australia, we also need to look beyond our horizons for alliances that can add value to our business in the future. This partnership will open up new ideas and provoke dialogue with stakeholders on key policy issues through forums locally and abroad,” Mr Harding said.
Globally, Rio Tinto has a wide range of business operations across more than 40 countries, which focus on finding, mining and processing mineral resources. The Iron Ore product group has operations based in Australia and Canada with key destination sales to China, Japan and South Korea. Operations across energy, minerals and copper portfolios ensure Rio Tinto continues its strong representation in the United States.
The Perth USAsia Centre was publicly launched by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at The University of Western Australia in November 2012 and legally established as an institution in June 2013. Gordon Flake joined the Centre in January 2014 as founding CEO after 23 years in the public policy and foreign relations community in Washington, DC.
In addition to this partnership, Rio Tinto also supports other key initiatives out of The University of Western Australia including In the Zone and The Perth International Arts Festival.