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Minmetals Development to expand in steel under Belt and Road initiative

Minmetals Development Co., Ltd., a Shanghai-listed unit of the state-owned China Minmetals Corp., is seeking cooperation with domestic steel mills to expand in countries covered by Beijing's Belt and Road initiative, according to Liu Hongxing, general manager of the stainless steel division at Minmetals Development.

Liu told delegates at the 12th Asian Stainless Steel Conference in Hong Kong on June 15 that the company will expand its overseas market network to support domestic mills' exports as well as overseas investments.

"We hope to explore the global steel market together with Chinese plants and to build up a win-win cooperation," he said.

Liu said such cooperation will focus on exports to countries covered by the Belt and Road initiative, amid an increasing number of antidumping investigations and measures against China's steel products in the U.S. and Europe.

"Steel exports to the U.S. and Europe have been declining," he said. "In the meantime, the Belt and Road initiative is a popular topic in China and we are aware of the business opportunities."

In addition to exports, Minmetals Development also looks to build up steel plants in those Belt and Road countries under joint venture plans with domestic steel producers.

"For example, we will construct a steel processing plant in a free trade zone in Turkey and we are also discussing with some domestic steel mills for potential investments in the Middle East region," Liu said.

Separately in the domestic market, the company is launching a campaign to help smaller steel plants upgrade production facilities and improve environment standards, according to Liu.

"In Guangdong province, the move to upgrade capacity for small plants was also backed by the local governments," he said, adding that the campaign will also benefit exports.