12th Rare Earth Summit

May 27-28, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

11th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 20-21, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

9th Magnesium Summit

April 15-16, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

13th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 25-26, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

7th World Antimony Forum

June 13-14, 2019
Changsha, Hunan, China

7th Refractory & Abrasive Materials Summit 2019

May 23-24, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

10th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 16-17, 2019
Zhengzhou, Henan, China

11th Rare Earth Summit

May 9-10, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

8th Magnesium Summit

April 11-12, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

12th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

6th World Manganese & Selenium Forum

May 21-22, 2018
Hainan Sanya, China
Business Visits

Asian Metal visits UN Office in Geneva with MMTA

On May 23rd, Asian Metal joined the Minor Metal Trade Association (MMTA) for a visit to the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland. As one of the leading international non-profit organizations in the minor metals industry, the MMTA not only strives to benefit its membership through the facilitation of mutually beneficial business relationships, but also actively works to address critical issues throughout the minor metals industry, such as the provision of a tried and internationally accredited dispute resolution system and the establishment of internationally recognized trade regulations. The trip included an in depth presentation on the purpose, history, and strategic initiatives of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a discussion on global rare earth markets and their role in the clean technology sector, a tour of the Palais de Nations, and a discussion on the WTO trade dispute and resolution process over a working lunch.
UNCTAD, first held in 1960, has worked to address major challenges facing global markets by serving as a launching pad for diplomacy, assessing trade and development policy options, and encouraging technical cooperation amongst the participating countries. While the conference has focused on a wide range of different themes over the years, the most recent conference actively worked to emphasize development-centred globalization and the press towards inclusive and sustainable growth and development.
Following the presentation on UNCTAD’s inception, historical objective, and functions, a UN economic affairs officer whom was also a former specialist in both the mining and the global commodities sector briefly spoke about rare earth markets and the challenges the industry will face in the upcoming years. She explained how rare earths are critical to a wide range of applications, ranging from Hybrid vehicles, to computers, to missile guidance systems. In particular, she stressed the importance of rare earth materials to the global green technology movement, adding that rare earth permanent magnets are a necessary input for both wind turbines and electric vehicle motors and that rare earth based phosphors are critical to energy efficient fluorescent lighting units.
The UN specialist discussed the importance of the development of a vertically integrated rare earth supply chain outside of China. She touched upon the global price shock witnessed after China’s 2010 export quota reduction and noted that global markets are expected to face critical supply shortages for several rare earth materials in the upcoming years.
After a tour of the Palais de Nations, the group met with a prominent attorney from one of the leading law firms for WTO trade dispute and resolution cases. The attorney outlined the necessary protocols both complainants and respondents must adhere to during the WTO trade dispute process. While she admitted that the WTO hopes to resolve most disputes within 12 months, she added that, in practice, the process typically takes much longer. She spoke at length about the recently concluded raw materials dispute, originally filed by the US, EU, and Mexico in 2009 and concluded in February 2012, as well as the recently initiated rare earths complaint, issued by the US, EU, and Japan in March 2012. Although the WTO has come to a final conclusion concerning the 2009 raw materials case, she explained that China may take up to one more year in adhering to WTO sanctions due to a clause granting China sufficient time, in most cases approximately one year, to implement difficult and complicated policy measures. Should China be found to be in violation of WTO international trade laws, she admitted that the entire process required to force an adjustment to rare earth export policy may take well over three years.
As the leading provider of information on global metal markets, Asian Metal was proud to participate in a conference boasting both major players from the minor metals industry as well as experts in global trade dispute and resolution policy.
Asian Metal
Asian Metal
Left, Melvin Hill, Right Anida Yupari Aguado (PH. D.), delegate from the UNCTAD Office of the Secretary General (OSG)
Top Left to Right: Nick Trillwood, Director of Delta Products U.K. Limited, Stephen Freeman (PH.D.), President of International Development at Materion, Charles A. Swindon, Managing Director at RJH Trading LTD, Melvin Hill
Bottom Left to Right: Shigehisa Kasahara, Economic Affairs Officer at UNCTAD OSG, Anida Yupari Aguado (PH. D.), delegate from the UNCTAD OSG