By Vice Chairman Choe Nam-suk of The Korea Post media
Chairman Grahanm Dodds of Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul said that Australia is highly regarded across several of the emerging technology areas and, in particular, with research and development.
Speaking at a recent interview with The Korea Post media (established 33 years ago and now operating 3 English and 2 Korean-language news media outlets), Dodds said: “Korea has complementary strength in the commercialisation of products and has an extensive global market reach. More collaboration on new and emerging technologies between the two countries can provide significant opportunities in the future Korean economy.” Excerpts from the interview follow:
Question: What are suggestions to further strengthen the bilateral economic cooperation?
Answer: Australia and Korea share similar values, regional influence, open economies and challenges with balancing key strategic relationships. Both Korea and Australia have similar sized economies and benefit from the trade of products and services that complement the needs of both countries. The strength of economic ties is illustrated by the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which has contributed to achieving bi-lateral trade of US$23 billion in 2016. As ‘middle powers’ in the Asia Pacific region both countries are aligned in ensuring that a stable regional security framework is maintained and that shared trade routes are secure and able to contribute to the prosperity of Korea and Australia.
The traditional Korean economy grew strongly from a strategy of embracing labour- intensive manufacturing for exports. The strategy has contributed to Korea having some of the largest steel making, car manufacturing, ship building, petrochemicals, electronic and semi-conductor industries in the world. However, the future of the Korean economy will be different, diversifying into Fourth Industrial Revolution industries.
Korea is well placed to succeed in the development of these new sectors as they are one of the largest investors globally for research and development. Korea has also developed a “creative economy policy” that provides a supportive environment for small R&D start-ups.
Australia is highly regarded across several of the emerging technology areas and in particular with research and development. Korea has complementary strength in the commercialisation of products and has an extensive global market reach. More collaboration on new and emerging technologies between the two countries can provide significant opportunities in the future Korean economy.
In addition, supporting Korea’s heavy industries’ needs, we expect to see Korea to remain a large customer of Australia’s natural resources for many decades to come.
Q: Please introduce the AustCham’s outstanding achievements and distinguishing contributions to the Korean industries to date.
A: In the last year only, the Chamber has held over 40 events, which included business seminars, networking events, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and regular social events to benefit the Australia-Korean community.
Last year, the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AustCham Korea) had the opportunity to provide a submission into the Australian Government’s Foreign Policy White Paper. Our submission has sought to provide a ‘Korean lens’ by gaining the perceptions of Australia from a Korean perspective.AustCham Korea was the only foreign chamber to make a submission prior to the White Paper’s publication, which was noted by the Australian Finance Minister Mathias Corman during his visit to Seoul in October.
Q: Please introduce the AustCham Business Awards: its history, main objectives, and 2018 Award winners.
A: First announced in 2011 before being reintroduced in 2016, AustCham Korea’s Business Awards continue to highlighting the strength of the growing links between our two nations by recognising enterprises who have displayed out-standing achievement and acknowledging them publicly. The awards offer an opportunity for companies, organisations and individuals to be recognised as industry leaders, whilst providing a platform for exposure to media, government bodies and global business leaders.
This year, we have partnered with a business intelligence and public relations group, Isentia to raise further awareness and brand exposure of the event.
2018 Award winners are as follows:
The Agriculture, Food and Beverage Award: The Sool Company
The Business Innovation-Start-up Award: M3DICINE Pty Ltd
The Education Services Award: TAFE Queensland
The Marketing Campaign Award: Wilson Parking Korea
The Tourism Award: Jin Air
The Business Growth Initiative Award: Macquarie Capital Korea Limited
The Australia – Korea Partnership Award: IFM Investors, Samsung Asset Management
The Korean Recognition & Acknowledgement Award: Mr Jeong, Ki-Chang, POSCO, and CJ E&M’s Youth Over Flowers (Producer. Shin, Hyo-Jung).
The Business of the year: Re-Clean Holdings Limited.
Q: Please introduce the brief history of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Korea, its organization, board members, and 2018 business objectives.
A: AustCham Korea began to represent the Australian and Korean business interests formerly as the Australian Business Group in Korea (ABGIK - 1990 to 2001) and then the Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ANZCCK - 2001 to 2008).
AustCham Korea became an independent body in early 2009 with a vision to leading Australian business growth in Korea.
AustCham has grown to now over 250 members from diverse fields of industry, facilitating business opportunities for Australian and Korean companies by proactively creating networks to advance their commercial interests in Korea.
Led by our Chair, Graham Dodds (President and Lead Country Manager of ExxonMobil), the Chamber consists of 12 directors and 2 ex-officios from the broader Australian-Korean community. With recent board elections conducted, the Chamber will soon announce its reformed board for 2018.