Ironic that Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, the instigator of the mining tax that may drive mining investment away from Australia, is talking about mining investment in Africa at the Down Under conference in Perth.
The stage was a formal dinner of mining executives and 17 African resources ministers for the Africa Down Under conference in Perth.
A perfect setting for the man ?who would be king?.
Ferguson called in sick, giving Rudd the opportunity to once again be centre stage, albeit as the minister?s spokesperson.
In his speech, Ferguson said the World Bank estimated the continent had largely recovered from the setbacks of the global financial crisis, with sub-Saharan economies expected to regain growth levels of above 5% this year.
“This is a vindication of the governance standards that African governments have progressively achieved in the past decade or more,” he said.
“The creation of consistent and clear fiscal, legal and regulatory policies and practices has increased economic stability and efficiency of government and business.
“The end result has been a significant increase in international involvement in the continent’s development – direct foreign investment in Africa is estimated to have jumped 25% to about $US35.6 billion in 2011 alone.
“Foreign investment funds 80% of our resources sector activity and has helped us amass an impressive investment pipeline of about $A270 billion in future projects and, mostly as a result of largely foreign-funded projects, Australia has now become a source of capital and expertise for the industry.“