Maximising Trade with Korea

This week Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment is in Korea to promote further export opportunities with our fourth largest trading partner.



Trade with ROK under KAFTA

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham embarked on a visit this week to our fourth largest trading partner - South Korea - to promote further exports. The Minister said the trip would provide another important opportunity for Australia and Korea to advance our already strong trade and economic relationship, underpinned by the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).

KAFTA entered into force on 12 December 2014. It is one of Australia’s most comprehensive trade agreements, delivering significant improvements in market access and tariff liberalisation for merchandise trade.

The ROK is Australia's fourth-largest overall trading partner. Two-way goods and services trade was worth around $52.3 billion in 2017-18, representing 6.6 per cent of all of Australia's international trade. The primary imports from the ROK in 2017-18 were ships, boats & floating structures (including the high-value Ichthys LNG platforms), refined petroleum, passenger motor vehicles, and electrical machinery and parts.

The ROK was the third-largest market for Australia's goods and services exports combined in 2017-18, totalling $23.7 billion. As well as coal, iron ore, LNG and aluminium, Korea remains an important market for our sugar and wheat, and KAFTA has seen huge volumes of high-quality Australian beef and premium wine made available in Korean restaurants and supermarket shelves.

The Minister said that with Australia looking to become a leader in hydrogen energy through our continued investment in hydrogen supply chains, there is significant potential for us to become a major and reliable exporter of hydrogen energy to countries such as Korea.

The visit will also include meetings with Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung Hee as well as important business players, including one of Australia’s largest exports partners, South Korean steelmaker POSCO. While there, Minister Birmingham will deliver a keynote address to the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea on areas for future growth under KAFTA.

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