Economic Analytical Unit - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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Case Studies of Australian Businesses in China

BHP Steel

State: Victoria
Sector: Minerals and Energy

BHP Steel has been involved in mainland China since 1991, when it established a sales operation supported from Hong Kong. In 1995, it established two roll-forming manufacturing businesses in Shanghai and Guangzhou, supported by a network of 18 sales offices throughout northern and southern China. These two businesses supply high quality steel products to the premium end of the construction market, focussing on infrastructure and industrial customers. Increasing Chinese demand for quality products provides a sound and growing base for these ventures. BHP Steel now is regarded as an industry leader, supporting domestic design institutes and architects constructing facilities such as the new Beijing Airport terminal and the Guangzhou National Sports Stadium, arguably the most spectacular stadium design in the world.

In establishing its Chinese plants, BHP Steel learnt some important lessons in terms of market segmentation, branding and strong product differentiation. Looking ahead, BHP Steel has plans for further expansion. Two new plants are under construction, the first in Beijing, which will supply some of the enormous demand expected to flow from Olympics related construction and infrastructure. The second factory is in Chengdu in Sichuan province, one of the fastest growing regions in China. The current and future market potential is immense and BHP Steel looks set to continue expanding its well researched and successful ventures.

Source: BHP Steel, 2002.

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This page last modified: Tuesday, 03 December 2002 05:39:21 PM

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