AKBC eNews January 2022
Dear AKBC members
As we return from the Christmas break, energised and ready to jump into what will hopefully be a more positive and certain 2022, the AKBC is keen to build on our achievements from last year and work with our members to make 2022 an even more successful year.
2021 was a blockbuster year for the Australia-Korea bilateral relationship (despite the challenges relating to COVID-19) and we are still seeing the benefits and follow up from the official visit from the President of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Mr Moon Jae-in, to Australia in December. It provides a strong foundation and a launching pad for the AKBC to continue its work on your behalf in strengthening ties between our two countries.
Following his visit to Australia, Moon Jae-in has recently travelled to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt to bolster cooperation in defence, hydrogen and infrastructure projects, with his visit including a roundtable on hydrogen. President Moon’s term will soon come to an end, with the South Korean presidential election to be held on March 9. With a single, five-year term limit, the leading presidential candidates are Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Minjoo Party and Yoon Seok-youl of the conservative opposition People Power Party.
The election will be held against a backdrop of rising COVID-19 cases, with daily cases exceeding 14,000 for the first time on Thursday— the largest number of daily cases since Korea reported its first infection in January 2020. While the quarantine period for vaccinated COVID-19 cases in Korea has now been reduced from 10 days to 7 days, the Government has asked for the public to minimise visits to their hometowns in an effort to curb transmission over the Lunar New Year holiday from January 31 to February 2. Experts predict that the daily number of confirmed cases will likely stay above 10,000 following the holiday period and up to 100,000 at its peak.
Despite the continued chaos caused by the pandemic, the year has started strongly for Korea’s largest battery maker LG Energy Solutions (LGES), with its IPO oversubscribed by more than 2000 times. It is the second largest IPO in Korea’s history, with LGES’s market capitalisation reaching 118.2 trillion won (~$138 bn). The IPO proceeds will fund capacity extensions as LGES looks to grow and outcompete its Chinese rival CATL.
As we all continue to navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the AKBC is confident of another year of strong growth for our organisation and members, and we look forward to working closely with you over the next 12 months.