Patron’s Message

His Excellency James Choi
His Excellency James ChoiAustralian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea

AustCham Message from His Excellency James Choi, Ambassador of Australia to the Republic of Korea

Dear AustCham Members,

I congratulate the AustCham board members who were elected or re-elected this year, and thank the outgoing board members who served so well last year. I look forward to working closely with the new board as we continue to advance the goal of fostering a stronger and more active Australian business community in Korea.

The partnership between Australia and Korea continues to go from strength to strength, and now encompasses a broad range of political, security, business, scientific and cultural interests, reflecting the closeness of our shared values as well as our bilateral ties.

Since the entry-into-force of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) in December 2014, AustCham has continued to play a key role in ensuring the successful implementation of this milestone in bilateral relations.

KAFTA not only liberalises the trade in goods between both countries significantly, but also removes barriers to trade in services and promotes investment. KAFTA is already lifting economic activity in both countries, and will continue to do so into the future. Through KAFTA, government has created the infrastructure for trade, and businesses are strongly encouraged to take full advantage of it.

KAFTA delivered a further round of tariff reductions at the beginning of 2017, improving the market position in Korea of Australian produce like beef, wine and cherries. What is most exciting is the appearance of new Australian exporters in the Korean market.

As political and economic challenges around the world threaten to dampen global trade and the growth that it generates, Australia and Korea need to maintain and build strong business links to ensure lasting prosperity.

I am grateful for AustCham’s efforts in working towards this goal and I am confident that the Australian business community in Korea will continue to prosper in 2018 and beyond.

James Choi
Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea