CHAIRMAN, KOREA-AUSTRALIA BUSINESS COUNCIL AND CHAIRMAN AND CEO, POSCO
I am delighted to introduce Australia Korea 50 Years of Friendship to the readers. This is not only a half-century celebration about what we have achieved so far, it is also about our expectations for another half-century relationship that will bring a better and brighter future ahead of the two great countries”.
The Korea Australia Business Council (KABC) was formed in 1978 in order to provide business interactions between Korea and Australia. This year we are gladly hosting the 33rd KABC-AKBC meeting at beautiful Cairns in September.
Business collaborations of the two countries cover various industrial fields, not just energy and resources as the largest sector, but also food & agribusiness, technology & innovations, mining, automotive, film making & tourism, and professional services.
The KABC, along with AKBC, will continue to support communications and interactions in business sectors to harvest mutually beneficial outcomes in the coming years.
At a company level, the history of the leading Korean steelmaker POSCO’s relationship with Australia dates back to 1970, when it opened up the very first relationship with Australian company BHP, now a longtime friend, for a technical service agreement in order to build the Korea’s first ever integrated steel mill.
“IT’S NOT ONLY A HALF-CENTURY CELEBRATION ABOUT WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED SO FAR, BUT ALSO ANOTHER HALF CENTURY OF EXPECTATIONS FOR A BETTER AND BRIGHTER FUTURE AHEAD OF THE TWO GREAT COUNTRIES”
For the important raw materials sourcing, POSCO also contacted and successfully secured long-term supply contracts with Hamersley Iron Pty., Ltd and Bellambi Coal Co. Ltd. in 1971. As a result of these supply contracts, the first shipment of coking coal and iron ore came to Korean shores in 1973. Since then, the shipment volume has been dramatically increased year-by-year, and today it is in the tens of millions of tons.
Australia has become an investment destination for POSCO as well. The very first investment was made in the coal mine development of Mt. Thorley. For this project, a local representative office, POSCO-Australia, was set up too in 1981. Today, POSCO has 12 different projects throughout Australia covering from Mount Thorley to the recent Roy Hill and API projects.
Strategic geographical attributes and solid partnerships make Australia very significant to POSCO and the company intends to expand its commitments in the nation by making further sustainable investments and acting as a mature and responsible member of Australian business community.
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to share some very interesting commonality between the two countries. What Australians believe as ‘mateship’ is very much embedded in Koreans too. It may take some time to develop this ‘mateship’, however once one acknowledges the other as a ‘mate’, this will last longer than the institutional marriage. Therefore,
I am confident that the 50 years so far has laid this ‘mateship’ between Korea and Australia and this ‘mateship’ will last through 50 years to come.
Let’s enjoy and celebrate together this hard-earned and long-lasting ‘mateship’.