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BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie today highlighted the potential trade opportunities with Asia in a speech to the Asia Society in New York.

“The social and economic forces across Asia are unstoppable. China, India and Indonesia account for 40 per cent of the world’s population and by 2050 each will be in the top four of the world’s largest economies ,” Mr Mackenzie said.

“Asian countries, in particular China, are brimming with the possibilities of progress and will ultimately lead the world into the next phase of innovation across many industries and services.

“For example, China’s investment in research and development has already overtaken the EU and will match US levels within four years.”

Mr Mackenzie said there is an enormous opportunity for Western countries to capture new markets in Asia but it needs to be supported by greater economic integration.

“We need more free trade champions and to promote regional initiatives like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP promotes transparency, sets common standards, stimulates innovation and reduces commercial tensions between nations,” he said.

“China is not currently part of the TPP and I would advocate for their inclusion in future iterations.

“If both the US and China are connected through this partnership, the world will be drawn together and stabilised. The TPP is an enormous opportunity and for either country not to participate is a missed opportunity for the global economy.”

Read the speech or media release for more information.

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