His Excellency Dr Kim Woo-sang.
Australia and Korea should continue to build on the model of ‘middle-power cooperation’ in order to facilitate mutual benefits, according to the Korean Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Dr Kim Woo-sang.
Ambassador Kim was a keynote speaker at the University of Western Australia’s In the Zone Business Forum in March 2011. The University has established In the Zone as the state’s premier forum for dialogue on trans-national issues of common significance to our international region.
Perth shares a time zone with 60 per cent of the world’s population and the nations that promise the greatest economic growth of the 21st Century.
With the theme ‘The Geography of Global Prosperity’, the current In the Zone conference series provides an opportunity for cross-sector dialogue between the public, private and academic sectors about our increasingly complex global neighbourhood and key policy questions facing Australia and the region.
The March In the Zone Business Forum was an intensive one-day event, attracting 100 national and international leaders from the business, government and academic sectors to consider the international dimensions and geopolitical implications of a range of issues critical to the maintenance of Western Australia’s international competitiveness, enviable lifestyle, skilled workforce and compassionate citizenry. The forum followed the success of the 2009 In the Zone Conference.
“Western Australia is the leading model of desirable economic cooperation between our two countries, plus there are leading endeavours in science and technology”
Ambassador Kim acknowledged that Australia and Korea have enjoyed a long and beneficial relationship and that the current Year of Friendship, recognising 50 years of diplomatic ties, is an important celebration.
He discussed the strong bilateral relationship that has seen two-way trade double in recent years to A$25 billion in 2010 (the Republic of Korea is Western Australia’s fourth-largest trading partner) and commented that there were opportunities to cooperate across a broad range of economic and business initiatives.
“Western Australia is one of the great mineral resources areas of the world. In recognising this, a number of Korean companies have invested a significant amount in the energy and resources sector and have established representative offices in Perth,” he said, highlighting investments in iron ore and LNG.
“Western Australia is the leading model of desirable economic cooperation between our two countries, plus there are leading endeavours in science and technology.”
Ambassador Kim described Korea and Australia as “typical middle powers” with strong economic capabilities, geo-strategic importance and many levels of global engagement, and he called for Western Australian leaders to enhance their understanding of the importance of the middle-power relationship.
“People-to-people understanding is very important if we are to think strategically and contribute to a better understanding of Korea and promotion of the relationship.”
For more information about the In the Zone conference series