AKBC eNews December 2021
Dear AKBC members
As we head into the Christmas break, I want to take this opportunity to reflect upon the year gone by. While it was not without monumental challenges as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, the achievements of the AKBC over this past year demonstrate our resilience and that of the Australia-Korea relationship.
2021 was truly a blockbuster year for the Australia-Korea bilateral relationship. We celebrated the 60th year of diplomatic relations, capped by the President of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Mr Moon Jae-in, visiting Australia earlier this month to formally elevate our nations’ relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
The Presidential Visit – marking the first international leader to visit Australia since our borders reopened – also saw our nations reaffirm their commitment to enhancing collaboration in critical minerals. As you know, this has been a key area of focus for the AKBC this year and one of my personal highlights of 2021 was the AKBC being selected as a partner with Korean government for their only industry-related engagement on critical minerals supply chains.
I am extremely proud that the collective expertise and significant contributions of AKBC members in this space has been recognised by government and industry in both Australia and Korea. As both our nations look to a zero emissions future, partnerships in critical minerals and also hydrogen have the potential to play a significant role in creating jobs, stimulating growth, and bringing our two countries closer together.
We were able to take our learnings from 2020 and continue to pivot and adapt to both online and offline delivery of services, ensuring our members continue to engage in high-quality events. If we look at the 2021 calendar year, we hosted 33 events in total, 13 of which were in-person in addition to 20 virtual events. This included a number of doing business in Korea and cultural training sessions, including most recently for Wine Australia to help their exporters better understanding how to do deals in Korea, and understand consumer preferences.
While the implications of the Omicron variant are yet to be seen, I hope that the New Year provides more opportunity for us to host more face-to-face events across Australia – as well as for the 43rd AKBC-KABC Joint Meeting.
We look forward to continuing to represent your interests and foster friendship and understanding between the business communities of Australia and Korea next year. Although we are a small organisation, our impact has and continues to be significant.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and thanks for all your support throughout the year.