Hanwha Group has been seeking more investment and business opportunities in the Australian market based on the growing defense partnership between South Korea and Australia.
The group’s move comes on the heels of a major defense contract signed between Hanwha Defense Australia, a defense business affiliate of Hanwha Defense and the Hanwha Group, and the Commonwealth to produce 30 AS9 Huntsman Self-Propelled Howitzers and 15 AS10 Armoured Ammunition Resupply Vehicles in Geelong, Victoria, under the project LAND 8116 phase 1.
The AS9 deal, valued at $785 million, marked the first time Australia has acquired major defense equipment from an Asian nation, and has the potential to help evolve the Seoul-Canberra relationship to a more comprehensive strategic partnership.
Related to this, Hanwha Group is in discussions to set up a bilateral business channel with the Victorian government to address potential business cooperation and investment opportunities. Tentatively named “Hanwha Forum,” the initiative is expected to begin during the first half of this year.
Richard Cho, managing director of Hanwha Defense Australia, said, “Hanwha and Australia have already forged a relationship based on mutual trust and friendship through defense business projects, and I think both parties have much to gain from further cooperation in other business sectors.”