AustCham Message from His Excellency Bill Paterson, Ambassador of Australia to the Republic of Korea
Dear AustCham Members,
Congratulations to the Austcham board members who were elected for 2013, and in particular, Mr Graham Dodds, who was elected Chair.
I am pleased to be here in Seoul and honoured to be the Patron of Austcham Korea. As Australian Ambassador to Thailand, I worked closely and productively with Austcham, and am keen to repeat this pattern in the Republic of Korea. I look forward to working with the Chamber to ensure that Australian business remains as the cornerstone of the bilateral relationship. I know the Embassy works closely with Austcham and under my watch this will continue.
Despite the current global economic uncertainty, business and commercial linkages continue to underpin the bilateral relationship between Australia and Korea. Korea remains our fourth largest trading partner overall and our third largest export market. For Korea, Australia is an important trading partner, ranking seventh in terms of two-way trade and sixth as a source of imports – imports used to produce manufactured goods that are then sold to the world. Financial and other services trade is also growing, broadening our business beyond bulk commodities. Our trade is complementary and benefits both economies.
Increasingly, investment is playing a much greater role. Korean investment into Australia is welcome and has been growing strongly, while Australian investment in Korea has been maintained at a healthy level.
Austcham has taken an active role in developing business links and advocating the bilateral FTA. I commend this work and encourage you to continue this effort. The FTA remains a primary goal of the Australian Government and has the potential to significantly increase opportunities for Australian business once completed. Austcham’s work in this area complements and amplifies the work of the government.
I look forward to getting to know the members of Austcham throughout the year and to working with you.
Ambassador of Australia
His Excellency Bill Paterson
Australian Ambassador to Korea