Australia's relationship with Korea
(South) is a very strong trading relationship. Korea is
deemed as Australia's fourth largest and most lucrative
trading partner. The Australia Korean trade produced the
third biggest export market during the years of 2004-2005.
Bilateral trade for both
countries expanded by a considerable margin- around
10 per cent during the last couple of years. Another
striking fact is the complementarities of both
countries trade economics.
Australia's trade strengths
lie in raw materials, energy, as well as
sophisticated manufactures/ products and services.
These go hand in hand with Korea's strengths in the
areas of research and development, heavy industry
and mass production. Australia’s export to Korea of
iron ore, for example, is utilized to manufacture
steel which is later employed in the production of
Korean automobiles and other electronics goods. The finished products are then
exported all around the global market.
To quote former South Korean
President Roh Moo-hyun,
“Australian raw materials want to 'come home' from
Korea in the form of finished products”.
companies such as POSCO purchase and obtain more
than 50 percent of its raw materials from Australia.
It is also counted (POSCO) as Australia's leading
From the Australian side, the
North West Shelf Australian LNG conglomerate secured
a US$1 billion agreement with the South Korea
government last 2003.Australia's Macquarie Bank
holds a major share in Korea.
The bank employs more
or less 300 Korean employees in Australia.
pioneered Korea's first private infrastructure road
fund and manages several joint ventures with other
Korean banks. South Korean companies have flourished
in Australia – Korea relationships with each country
experiencing growth. Electronic company LG has
developed to become Australia's leading electronics
brand. Other electronic brands such as Hyundai,
Samsung, Kia and Daewoo have become household names.
Korea is developing a name in Australia for innovation and
high quality technology. Trade
in services has become a key factor of the link.
Tourism and education were both in
Australia's top ten exports to Korea in 2004. Australia has
just placed third in the rankings of the world's top
universities and Australian cities rate as the most livable
in the world.
A recent global survey rates Australia
'the world's friendliest nation'. Australia's e-visa program
has made travel from Australia to Korea and vise versa
Korean travel agents can apply for visas for their
customers electronically with a program called working
holiday maker program allows young Korean travelers to work
in Australia during their stay. In line with the vitality of
the economic relationship, political engagement between the
two countries is strong.
Australia and Korea hold annual
foreign minister talks as well as annual trade minister
talks. The Korean and Australian defense ministers have also
undertaken reciprocal visits. Engagement of this type is
important to build the personal relationships that bind our
countries closer together. The trading relationship is very
strong. The political relationship is strong. But what is
just as important is our ability to work together to advance
our shared interests and values.
By recognizing what Australia and South Korea have in
common, acknowledging both countries’ values and interests
that they both share, a stronger groundwork for the future
of the relationship is established.