SERVICING larger markets outside Australia is seen as important for the Australian METS sector with a number of companies achieving growth by servicing markets in Asia, Africa, South America and other overseas destinations. Evidence of the importance of Australian METS expertise to the global mining industry was demonstrated at AIMEX by the presence of international delegations and visitors.

There was a very strong delegation from India while there were also delegations from China, Chile, Canada, Mongolia and the USA. Most delegations were assisted in their visits to Sydney by Austrade while Australian METS representative body Austmine aided in the knowledge exchange through several capability workshops.

There was a very strong exhibition presence from China with companies from all parts of China promoting a range of mining equipment and services in several conspicuous blocks of booths decorated in red and yellow. The German ‘pavilion’ organized by German mining equipment association VDMA, was very well supported by METS providers while there were also US, Canadian and Chilean areas and representation from Poland, India and Russia.

Overseas exhibitors were striving to increase awareness of their operations in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. A first-time exhibitor was Canadian company Kal Tire, a relative newcomer in Australia. Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group senior vice president Dan Allan said, “For us the primary purpose of attendance was to gain exposure for our organization, which is establishing itself in Australia. It was about brand positioning and bringing awareness of our services and support for the Australian market.

“Attendee numbers were light but we saw many potential customers we didn’t know before from eastern Australia. A good array of decision makers came through and it wasn’t all tyre kickers, so to speak. Our ambition was to grow in the east and it was a good forum for that purpose.

“Opening day was quiet but Wednesday and Thursday picked up remarkably well. We met people from Rio, Anglo, Glencore and BHP Billiton, and there were many from various organizations in the Hunter Valley which gave us a good cross section.

“We are relatively new in Australia, especially in the east, and we often heard people saying ‘oh, I didn’t know you do that’ or ‘I didn’t know how wide the organization is’. This was encouraging because at least they left with a new perspective.”

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