CANBERRA, Sept. -- Australia is well-placed to become the mining financial center of the world, one of the industry's top executives has said.
Jean Sebastien Jacques, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of global mining giant Rio Tinto, said Australia needed to avoid protectionism and push for economic reform.
"The opportunity is there for Australia to gain ground from London and Toronto as the place the industry wants to put its dollars and its best people," Jacques said in an address to a Minerals Week dinner in Canberra on Wednesday night.
"As an example, Australia could form alliances and financial partnerships with Singapore or Hong Kong."
Jacques, who has served as CEO of Rio Tinto since July 2016, said Australia's soaring energy prices were "a national own goal."
He said within a decade Australia had gone from having "the most competitively priced energy in the developed world to having nearly the most expensive."
"The future of many operations mining, manufacturing, agriculture and businesses large and small are at risk. The lessons of the past decade would suggest less state-based intervention and more national coordination," Jacques said.