Miners' woes 'filter through' to other areas

Australia's mining downturn was having a "substantial" impact on associated industries, a global energy technology executive said.

Australia's mining downturn was having a "substantial" impact on associated industries, a global energy technology executive said.

The post mining-boom era of contracting investment was filtering through to the energy technology sector, said Jean Pascal Tricoire, chief executive and president of French giant Schneider Electric. "We are a big supplier of automated energy systems to the mining industry, so when mining stops investing, we stop also."

Listed on the French stock exchange, Schneider Electric has 150,000 employees, 4000 of them in Australia, and yearly turnover of €24 billion ($35 billion) from energy management hardware, software and systems.

Schneider had benefited from the resource boom in Australia but was globally positioned to handle any downturn, generating most of its revenue in US and Chinese markets. As head of a company spanning 100 countries, Mr Tricoire (below) takes a frequent reading of the voltage of the global economy.

The world was on the path "to a slow but sure recovery" after the financial crisis but "we are not yet at the turning point", he said.

There were positive "dynamics" in the world's two largest economies, the US and China. Japan was also more dynamic and Europe has "done many of the right things", he said, during a visit to the company's Melbourne office.

"We are doing better this year than last year and better than we were doing at the end of 2011."

Australia needed to focus on developing and adapting to new technologies and training for "renewable energy, energy efficiency, connected buildings and connected cities," Mr Tricoire said.

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