SYDNEY, Jan. 25 -- The Chief Executive of Rio Tinto's (RTP, RIO.AU) Alcan division, Jaycnthe Cote, on Friday said aluminium consumption rates will return to prerecession levels within the next three years.
"If there's one sector with enormous growth potential, it's the aluminum one," Cote said in a speech in Quebec.
Rio Tinto is well positioned to deal with the consequences of the global recession, and the company is confident for the long-term outlook for aluminium demand, Cote said.
"With the combined impact or urbanisation and industrialisation, aluminium demand will therefore grow in emerging countries in coming years," he said, adding demand in industrialised countries should also grow by 2% to 3% per year.
"We plan to make the most of our numerous competitive advantages to benefit significantly from the renewed growth in aluminium demand once it is firmly in place," Cote said.
He added there is reason to be optimistic for the outlook for global growth though cautioned it remains to be seen by how much demand will recover in the aluminium industry.
He said governments will need to consider a second round of economic stimulus, and carefully consider when to raise interest rates.
"We have to temper our optimism with careful attention. We can see light at the end of the tunnel but we have to make sure it's not a train," Cote said.