China’s industrialisation transformed global markets for mineral commodities. As growth in China slows and becomes less material intensive, the question arises whether countries of South and Southeast Asia can take up the baton from China and give a further boost to global mineral demand. The economic prospects of South and Southeast Asia are undoubtedly promising, helped by growing populations and a fast-expanding middle class. However, the model of growth being embraced by these countries is different from that of China and likely to be less material intensive. Also, many of them are economically coming off a very low base. With respect to the supply of minerals to the region, the impact of India’s growth on global mineral markets will be limited by the fact that many of India’s mineral needs can be met from domestic sources. In Southeast Asia, some of the mineral requirements will be met from domestic resources while some of its requirements for finished metals will likely continue to be met from China which is a heavy investor in the region and which has massive surplus metallurgical capacity.
- Mineral demand, mining, one belt one road
- South and Southeast Asia