APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining opened their meeting in St Petersburg on Wednesday by examining ways to create an attractive investment climate in the region and to trade in the mining and metallurgy sector.

The agenda includes supply and demand trends for minerals, resource management, and steps that can be taken to boost regulatory efficiency and mitigate the environmental impact of the industry.

Collectively, APEC’s 21 member economies sit on the largest metal and mineral reserves, globally, account for 70 percent of total production and are the sector’s biggest exporters. APEC also accounts for the lion’s share of the consumption of minerals and metals.

Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said that the reliable supply of raw materials is crucial to the region’s sustainable development.

“The volumes of the consumed resources are continuously growing, therefore, this growth will continue further,” said Manturov. “We must develop new deposits and build new refineries. That means it is necessary to provide the flows of investments into the real sector of APEC economies.”

“However, we cannot limit ourselves to measures that merely increase the extraction of mineral resources,” he continued. “Within APEC, we have a unique opportunity to coordinate our efforts in this sphere.”

Manturov also recognized that the region’s development can be based on a harmonized effort to improve living standards.

“A balance between the interests of society and business is needed to keep such spheres as employment levels and environmental protection in line” Manturov explained.

Ambassador Muhamad Noor, the APEC Secretariat’s Executive Director, underscored the importance of the mining sector to APEC member economies’ prosperity.

“Mining resources, production, processing and trade are providing a significant contribution to the economies of the region, driving growth and delivering jobs,” Noor said.

“By continuing to collaboratively pursue initiatives that enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of the mining sector and further APEC’s 2012 priorities, member economies are helping to generate greater prosperity in the region and bring potentially significant benefits for mining stakeholders,” Noor observed.

APEC Mining Ministers will continue to meet on Thursday. The results of the Fourth APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining Meeting will be reported during the 2012 APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Vladivostok on 8-9 September.

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For more information, please contact David Hendrickson +65 9371 8901 at drh@apec.org or Michael Chapnick (in Russia) +65 9647 4847 at mc@apec.org.

More details about APEC’s 2012 priorities and initiatives for the year can be found on www.apec.org or www.apec2012.ru.

Additional details about APEC meetings, events, projects and publications can be found at www.apec.org. You can also follow APEC on Twitter and join us on Facebook.