AKBC E-newsletter November Edition

Dear AKBC members,

November has been a blockbuster month for the AKBC and our Korean counterpart, the Korea-Australia Business Council (KABC), headlined by the 43rd AKBC-KABC Joint Meeting.

Taking place on the 29th and 30th of November, this year’s event was a special occasion that brought industry leaders and key decision-makers from the Australian and Korean bilateral corridor together for the first time in three years, after COVID-19 disrupted previous gatherings.

Exploring the latest trends and insights on the Australia-Korea relationship, the Joint Meeting is considered the premier event on the Australia-Korea trade calendar. The two-day program was jam-packed with activities designed to foster networking and diplomacy between our two countries, whilst examining bilateral investment opportunities across a range of critical sectors including hydrogen and critical minerals, education, food and agriculture, financial services, and defence.

Day 1 commenced with a cruise of Sydney Harbour, allowing our Korean delegation to soak up the beautiful weather and see some of the best sites Sydney has to offer. This was followed by presentations from the NSW Government (focusing on NSW’s developments in hydrogen and critical minerals) before our guests returned to the Four Seasons for a media roundtable.

The welcome dinner took place that evening at the Art Gallery of NSW. The Korean delegation was led by KABC Chairman and CEO of POSCO, Mr Jeong-Woo Choi. The Hon. Simon Crean – Chair of the AKBC and former leader of the Australian Labor Party – led the Australian delegation. Both chairmen delivered speeches to officially launch the event.

Day 2 kicked off with welcoming remarks from Australia and Korea’s ambassadors to one another – H.E. Catherine Raper, and her Korean counterpart, H.E. Jeong-sik Kang. Keynote addresses were then provided via video by Senator the Hon. Don Farrell, Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism, and Dr Ahn Duk-geun, Korea’s Minister for Trade, and Mr Gary Cowan, First Assistant Secretary of the North and South Asia Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who attended in-person.

This led directly into Session 1: Fuelling Research and Industry Partnership. Session 2 focussed on Critical Minerals and Defence. Session 3 covered Australian-Korean bilateral cooperation in Financial Services and Session 4 investigated Innovations in Agriculture. The final topic area was explored in Session 5: Transitioning to a Cleaner Future, a major headline in international cooperation following the recent global energy crisis. We also launched our Financial Services – Strike While the Iron is Hot; and Education Reports – Bridges to the Future, (include links) at the Joint Meeting. Please see here for a summary of the Joint Meeting and resources available. (insert link to JM summary page, which includes presentations, photos, resources, etc).

It was an honour for the AKBC and KABC to be able to celebrate our shared 43-year history, together in Sydney. A massive thank you to my team, our partners, sponsors, members and all those who made the event possible and to those in attendance, particularly to our Korean delegation for travelling all this way. We are already looking forward to next year’s event in Korea.

With the Joint Meeting now behind us, we are turning our sights to 2023 and eagerly organising next year’s calendar of events. First plans are already being laid for our next edition of Canberra Day, an event enabling our members to connect with Federal Ministers and raise the issues most important to their business. Stay tuned for more details!

Thank you to all our members for a great year. On behalf of the AKBC board and leadership team, we wish you a safe and happy holidays.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Clunies-Ross, Executive Director Australia-Korea Business Council