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BHP and the Institute of Market Economy, Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC) today signed a two-year agreement to support comprehensive research on the next phase of China’s urbanisation, which will be driven by technology. The signing of the agreement was witnessed by Arnoud Balhuizen, Chief Commercial Officer of BHP and Dr. Long Guoqiang, Vice President of the Development Research Center of the State Council.

BHP China Country President, Mr. Wang Yuekui, said the program aligns with BHP’s long-term commitment to the sustainable development of China’s economy and society. “China’s extraordinary economic boom has gone hand-in-hand with urbanisation, we are very proud to be one of the reliable high quality resources suppliers underpinning the development of modern China in the past 40 years. China is a major market for BHP’s commodities with significant importance to the company’s growth. The work to be undertaken through this agreement is a necessary step to help China’s urbanisation towards the mature and high-income stage and we are pleased to support these efforts”

General Director of Institute of Market Economy, DRC, Ms. Wang Wei, spoke of the partnership's potential to capture opportunities generated through technology's role in improving the quality and development of industrialisation, information networks and agricultural modernisation. "A new round of technological revolution is flourishing globally in recent years, which brings new impetus to urbanization. We hope this research will contribute significantly to outlining development strategies, roadmaps and policy options to accelerate China’s urbanisation progress.”

Since reform and opening-up, China’s urbanisation rate has been increasing at a steady pace, from less than 20% in 1978 to 57.35% in 2016. China’s urbanisation rate is expected to hit around 70% by 2030 with about one billion people living and working in urban areas.

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