AKBC E-newsletter October Edition

Dear AKBC members,

The AKBC would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Korean people following the deadly crowd surge in Seoul’s Itaewon district on the 29th of October. This is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and condolences are with the families and friends of the 153 victims as they navigate this difficult time.

October has been an important month for Australian-Korean bilateral relations, headlined by Senator the Hon. Don Farrell, Minster for Trade and Tourism, leading a delegation to Korea in order to strengthen trade ties and discuss cooperation on economic security.

The visit sought to deepen investment and energy security engagement with both Japan and Korea – two of Australia’s top five trading partners – by promoting Australia as a reliable renewable energy superpower of the future.

Diplomatic activities commenced with Minister Farrell co-chairing the inaugural Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) Trade Minister’s Meeting with his Korean counterpart, Dr Ahn Duk-geun. This meeting has been established to review the progress of shared goals recognised under the Australian-Korean CSP signed in 2021, including securing critical minerals supply chains, expanding high-quality agricultural exports, and collaborating in new fields like biotechnology, artificial intelligence and robotics.

Above all, Minister Farrell endeavoured to reaffirm Australia’s commitment to remain a “stable, secure, and reliable” supplier of energy to Korea.

Minister Farrell was then joined in Seoul by a delegation of Australian critical minerals businesses to lead a critical minerals industry roundtable with Korean Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy, Lee Chang-yang. Much like the previous meeting, this engagement focussed heavily on developing bilateral energy supply chains in light of the unfolding global energy crisis.

“[Minister Lee] is a very important person in the Korean Government,” said Minister Farrell.

“He appreciates that Australia is the largest supplier of critical minerals – or has the largest reserves of critical minerals in the world. He’s keen to work with us in order to develop those resources, value-add those resources and have them transported to Korea to continue to build the Korean economy.”

Australia recently had the opportunity to return the hospitality, when we welcomed a large Korean delegation to Australia, to attend the AusBiotech 2022 conference held in Perth last week.

Australia’s flagship biotech industry conference, this year’s event was the first edition in three years after COVID-19 disrupted previous gatherings. AusBiotech 2022 boasted a cutting-edge three-day program, at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from Wednesday the 26th to Friday the 28th, indicating the increasing significance being placed on the biotech industry as nations seek to jointly advance medical innovation.

The organiser of BioKorea – Korea’s equivalent annual conference – is the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI). KHIDI has led large Korean delegations to AusBiotech for several years, demonstrating the strong interest Korean companies have in collaborating with Australia’s biotech industry. The AKBC received Korea’s delegation last Thursday, hosting them for the Australia-Korea Health and Biotech briefing and networking dinner alongside KHIDI – our deepest thanks to our fantastic speakers and event partners who made this possible.

Finally, the countdown is officially on for the Australia-Korea Business Council / Korea-Australia Business Council (KABC) 43rd Joint Meeting. Taking place in Sydney on the 29th and 30th of November, the AKBC-KABC Annual Joint Meeting is the premier event on the Australia-Korea trade and investment calendar and is widely considered as a must-attend occasion by senior executives working in the Australia-Korea relationship.

This year’s event will see senior business executives, industry leaders, and key decision-makers from the Australian and Korean bilateral corridor meet in-person for the first time since 2019. As Chairman of the AKBC, the Hon. Simon Crean will lead the Australian delegation – POSCO CEO and KABC Chairman Jeon-woo Choi will lead the Korean delegation.

We are encouraging all members to register if they are yet to do so – more information can be found here. There are also limited speaking and sponsorship opportunities still available, please contact Louise at lcluniesross@akbc.com.au or 0410 682 226 for more information.

To all our members seeking to truly maximise the value of their Joint Meeting experience, Korean cultural training programs are available here. This is the best way to prepare for the event and ensure you get the most out of the numerous networking opportunities offered by the occasion.


Yours sincerely,

Louise Clunies-Ross

Executive Director Australia-Korea Business Council