Foreword by Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment
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Foreword by Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment

The Republic of Korea is one of Australia’s most important partners. Our shared values – democracy, human rights, and a commitment to the rules-based order – were confirmed through the heroic deeds of the servicemen and women from both our countries that served alongside one another in the Korean War.

As trading nations, our shared commitment to free and open trade has supported the long term prosperity of our region. Australia and Korea share a strong trade and economic relationship, with Korea our fourth largest trading partner.

Our close energy relationship has developed through trade in coal ($7.4 billion in 2018) and iron ore ($3.8 billion in 2018), and more recently LNG ($4.6 billion in 2018). With Australia looking to become a leader in hydrogen energy, there is significant potential for us to become a major and reliable exporter of hydrogen energy to Korea.

Following the entry into force of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), our trading relationship has expanded beyond resources. Korea is now Australia’s third biggest export market for beef, and our largest export market for sugar. Strong trade in services – tourism, education and financial services – has strengthened existing people to people links.

The highly complementary nature of our trading relationship has seen Australian raw materials exported to Korea return in the form of manufactured goods. What Korea produces, we want to buy – fuel efficient cars, smart phones, and refined petroleum.

I congratulate both the AKBC and the KABC on holding your 40th Joint Meeting. Thank you for helping to build the mutually beneficial trade and investment relationship between Korea and Australia.


Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham

Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment