Int'l recycling group confirms scrap metal exec as new president

The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Tom Bird, the chief operating officer of Chinese scrap metal firm Chiho Environmental Group, as its new president, replacing Ranjit Baxi.

SINGAPORE, May 21 (Reuters) - The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Tom Bird, the chief operating officer of Chinese scrap metal firm Chiho Environmental Group 0976.HK, as its new president, replacing Ranjit Baxi.

The Briton, who was previously BIR treasurer, was formally given an initial two-year mandate as president by members at the BIR's annual general assembly in Singapore. He was recommended for the post by the BIR nominating committee in February.

He takes the helm as China tightens restrictions on imports of scrap metal and other forms of solid waste, upending trade flows and potentially leaving the world's biggest metals consumer short of supply. Beijing has pledged to reduce solid waste imports to zero by the end of 2020.

"In these challenging macroeconomic times... it's vital our members are kept abreast of development and they have the knowledge and confidence that BIR is at the forefront and representing their interest," Bird said referring to the U.S.-China trade war and market volatility in his address to the general assembly.

Bird, who was managing director of scrap giant Sims Metal Management SGM.AX from 1995-2009, told Reuters on the sidelines of the meeting he would continue in his role at Chiho and serve as BIR president from Hong Kong.

Baxi, the founder of London-based waste paper exporter J&H Sales International, had been BIR president since 2015.

The Brussels-based BIR, which represents the interests of the recycling industry internationally, has over 760 member companies.

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen in SINGAPORE, writing by Tom Daly in BEIJING; editing by Rashmi Aich)

((tom.daly@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 6627 1023;))

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