Queensland, the third-most populous state in Australia, has a strong economy, with highly successful global exports through tourism, mining, services, agriculture, and education and training. The Queensland government is also committed to working with a series of new, emerging industries to access further trade and investment opportunities with international business partners.
Queensland’s Trade and Investment Commissioner for Korea, Dr. Sang Min Woo, believes that Korea’s emerging industry sectors present exciting export opportunities for countries such as Australia.
“Korea’s economy continues to perform strongly,
with an IMF-forecasted real GDP growth of 4.5 per cent in 2011,” Mr Woo says.
“In 2009–10 Korea was Queensland’s fourth-largest merchandise export destination, worth $4.7 billion to the Queensland’s economy. Queensland has a range of capabilities and works with Korea to develop opportunities in key sectors, including energy, food, education and training, sports, marine, equine, pharmaceutical and creative industries,” Dr Woo says.
“Korea’s immediate need to invest heavily in its future means Queensland is well placed to remain one of Korea’s key education and training providers, with the state hosting almost 8000 Korean students in 2010.
“The importance of Korea as a business partner for Queensland is illustrated through regular Queensland government-hosted trade missions to Korea in order to promote business opportunities between the regions.”
In late April, Queensland’s Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade, The Hon. Andrew Fraser, led a trade mission of Queensland companies to Korea. According to Dr. Woo, this presented a range of opportunities for Korea’s government and businesses to partner in the energy and resources sector, including in coal seam gas, wind and solar energy, as well as Queensland’s marine and food and agriculture industries.
Queensland Government signs MOU with Jeollanam Province for marine sector collaboration.
“This followed a successful mission in June 2010 by Queensland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional economies, the Honourable Tim Mulherin, to grow opportunities for Korean collaboration in Queensland’s agriculture sector.
“A prior mission in September 2009 saw Queensland’s former Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade, the Honourable Stephen Robertson, visit Korea to attend the Asia Pacific Cities Summit in Incheon.
“During this trade mission, the Minister met with Korean representatives in the pharmaceutical, energy, and the arts industries, planting the seed for Queensland’s involvement in the 2011 Korea International Art Fair (KIAF). Australia will be the guest country of honour at the KIAF in September 2011, with Queensland exhibiting an array of Indigenous artists from Mornington Island as part of the fair, including Sally Gabori, Paula Paul and Emily Ngarnal Evans.”
Dr. Woo says that despite recent global economic challenges and natural disasters, Queensland’s economy remained sound, supported by world demand for the state’s bountiful, quality resources. Major investment in innovation and infrastructure also continues to drive exports and employment.
“Korean investment in Queensland is also growing, particularly in Queensland’s natural resources and mining sectors, agriculture and property development, and Korea is now one of the state’s biggest investor nations,” Dr. Woo says.
Queensland now has a number of trade agreements with regions across Korea, including a Memorandum of Understanding with Gyeongnam province to promote collaboration in marine infrastructure and the development of a recreational boating industry.
Dr Woo says Queensland’s world-class marine capabilities were well known as a result of two successful marine missions to Korea, International Boat Shows in 2008 and 2009. In the food sector, Queensland’s farmed banana prawns have also become popular on Korean dining tables – the state exports seafood through Korea’s Shinsegae Food) – and there are similar arrangements in place for the state’s beef products and mangoes.