MELBOURNE, Mar 16 (IANS): India would outpace China in GDP growth within 15 years, Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has predicted in its annual report released on Tuesday.
"As China nears the top of the commodity intensity usage curve, India is expected to follow, supporting a further potential wave of strong commodity demand," Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese says in the report.
The Asian economic powerhouses' demand for Australian resources, according to Albanese, would continue to rise exponentially in the next decade-and-a-half.
The global mining giant is optimistic that China and India would continue to drive the economic growth in the region as their insatiable demand for iron ore, coal and aluminium does not show any sign of abating in the near future.
Irrespective of the long-term predictions about India beating China in the demand for the Australian resources, Rio Tinto would continue to focus on China as the most crucial market. The long term strategy of one of world's leading miners, however, has India clearly in its sights.
"...higher demand from China and potentially India, as a result of high rates of economic growth and urbanisation trends in those countries, could contribute further to increases in world production volumes in the long term," the annual report reads.
In a significant development, Rio Tinto made the first-ever iron ore sale to India late last year when a 160,000 tonne shipment was sent to Indian steelmaker Essar.
Rio Tinto is also in the process of launching an iron ore project in India's Orissa state. It has a 51 percent stake in a joint venture with state-owned Orissa Mining Corp. Rio plans to supply iron ore to the growing Indian market from this project.