AKBC E-newsletter August Edition
Dear AKBC members,
Hello everyone, this is my first message to the AKBC community since joining AKBC as the Acting Executive Director so thank you all for the warm welcome. It has been incredible to see the activity in the bilateral relationship between Australia and Korea and AKBC is well positioned to promote these opportunities to our members and community. I would also like to thank Liz Griffin for her tremendous work thus far before she goes on parental leave later this week.
Mid-August marked 100 days for the Yoon administration, an important milestone for Korea and the Asia-Pacific region as it faces key challenges amidst geopolitical uncertainty. The new Korean administration has weathered a difficult period domestically and made quiet strides in foreign policy, strengthening its US alliance as the Albanese government has also looked to do the same.
As such, things are also looking stronger on the Australia-Korea bilateral front. The Yoon administration has utilised the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) as a basis for forging bilateral and regional collaboration with Australia. This is a positive continuation of the strengthening ties between the two regional partners, having been affirmed by each country’s respective previous governments in December 2021.
The intensification of Indo-Pacific tensions has meant the two countries are turning to one another for longer term stability and security. These shared strategic paths bode well for the economic and strategic partnership, with the Australian-Korean partnership extending across security, defence, cyber and critical technologies and a host of other areas.
Given Korea’s vision for a more international role, its relationship with Australia will become even more critical. Earlier in the month, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs the Hon. Penny Wong met with the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin during the ASEAN summit, discussing regional challenges and ways to strengthen bilateral relations as the two countries strive to support permanent peace and stability in the region and on the Korean Peninsula.
Regional uncertainties have also heightened the importance of energy security in a decarbonising world. With both new administrations in Australia and Korea committing themselves to ambitious net-zero targets, the AKBC was proud to host the 2022 Australia-Korea New Energy Forum in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. The third iteration of this event, and the first it was held in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic, received incredible interest and attendance at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne to a capacity crowd.
Attendees learnt that Korea is a sophisticated partner for the long-term industrial and investment opportunities that new energy offers, showcasing how advanced and coordinated the nexus of market, policy and industry was in the country’s pursuit of carbon neutrality. Presentations from POSCO, Hyosung Heavy Industries and the Korea Institute for Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) illustrated how policy initiatives in planning, evaluating and managing national energy R&D projects dovetailed with strategic corporate investment strategies that ensured reliable green energy supplies for an advanced industrial economy.
This was one of the first opportunities for industry and government to discuss policy directives and positive new developments and forecasts for the development of New Energy infrastructure and supply chains in the context of the ever-growing Australia-Korea relationship. As such, we welcomed Lucy Ryan’s presentation stressing the Albanese government’s commitment to its 2030 emissions targets and initiatives in the context of Australia’s strategic and complementary trade relationship with Korea.
Given the importance that hydrogen is set to hold for the bilateral relationship during the energy transition and beyond, the AKBC hopes that momentum is sustained on both the government-to-government and business-to-business fronts. As such we also look forward to hearing of the positive outcomes following Hon Alannah MacTiernan’s (Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Hydrogen Industry, Western Australia) visit to Seoul for the H2 MEET International Hydrogen Conference between 31 August – 3 September.
I am excited to be hosting the KOFIA delegation for the Korea-Australia Alternative Investments Dinner in Sydney this week. This will be quite an intimate affair as we look to engage with the delegates while they are in Melbourne and Sydney learning about the Australian financial market and various investment portfolios here in Australia. We will also be commencing the AKBC Financial Services and Education Sub-Committee Meetings in Sydney and Melbourne respectively this September. The reports which will come out of the sector sub-committees look to drive our engagement with Korea and I look forward to releasing these reports in the near future.
Finally, the 43rd AKBC-KABC Joint Meeting is fast approaching and I am actively recruiting speakers and sponsors across our priority sectors for this event. Please reach out if you would be interested in speaking and sponsoring, noting that as this is a members-only event, speaking opportunities are prioritised to AKBC members of the higher level in our new membership model. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.
Acting Executive Director
Australia-Korea Business Council