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Image: Fortescue Metals Group.

Fortescue Metals Group has opened its new office in Shanghai, bringing the Western Australian-based miner closer to the key clients in China.

The opening follows Fortescue’s successful establishment of a Chinese sales entity, FMG Trading Shanghai in mid-2019 to supply products directly to Chinese customers in smaller volumes.

Fortescue has been a key supplier of seaborne iron ore to China since its first commercial shipment in 2008. Since then, the company’s ties with the world’s most populous nation has continued to grow.

Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines, who attended the office opening in Shanghai said Fortescue was proud to contribute to China’s urban development.

The company’s positive relationship with China is helping it to expand its exports to broader Asia regions via the nation’s belt and road initiative (BRI), according to Gaines.

“The establishment of our new Shanghai office expands our already deep, multifaceted relationships with China,” she said.

“(These relationships) extend beyond our customer relationships to partnerships, procurement, investment, financing and social, academic and policy linkages.

“We look forward to continuing to build on Fortescue’s strong engagement with China for many years to come.”

Joining Gaines in Shanghai for the opening was Australia’s consul-general in Shanghai Dominic Trindade, China Iron and Steel Association vice chairman Luo Tiejun and Western Australia’s Minister for Tourism Paul Papalia.

Papalia noted Fortescue’s longstanding working relationship and presence in Shanghai has helped bring the two nations together.

“Fortescue having an office in this world-class city further underpins and strengthens the excellent and diverse connection between China and the state of Western Australia,” he said.

Fortescue now ships 170 million tonnes of iron ore annually, with most of its sales heading for China.

Following more than 10 years of longstanding relationships with its key Chinese customers, the company is expanding into other Asian markets including Japan, South Korea and India.