NSW targets Korean trade and investment opportunities in 50th ‘Year of Friendship’

5 July 2011

NSW Trade and Investment hosted a business forum on 5 July to grow trade and investment opportunities with the Republic of Korea.

The Sydney event was well attended by representatives of Korean and NSW companies with interests across infrastructure, transport, logistics, mining, resources, and renewable energy.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner addressed the forum and announced $100,000 funding to support two technology research and development collaborations between NSW and Korea.

“The Republic of Korea is one of Australia's most important trading partners with whom we share strong economic, political and strategic interests,” Mr Stoner said.

“Given 2011 is the 'Year of Friendship' between Australia and the Republic of Korea in recognition of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, there is no better time for us to declare that this is an international relationship the NSW Government wants to grow.

“Negotiations between Australia and the Republic of Korea on a Free Trade Agreement have the potential to open up significant new opportunities.

“The NSW Government wants to send a clear message to the Republic of Korea that NSW is open for international business."

The business forum was a chance to explore business and investment opportunities, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, minerals and renewables in which NSW has inherent strengths and much potential for growth.

Mr Stoner announced two recipients of the NSW Government's NSW-Gangwon Technology Collaboration Grant program which encourages research collaborations in areas including medical devices, ICT, advanced materials, nanotechnology and biotechnology.

The NSW Government will provide two NSW projects with $50,000 each and the Gangwon provincial government will provide 50,000,000 Korean won for their Korean counterparts.

The grants have been awarded to:

  • The Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials at the University of Wollongong, which will collaborate with Sangji University to develop a non-invasive pulse monitor using new electronic materials to make pulse detection faster and more reliable; and
  • The Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney, which will collaborate with Kwandong University to develop aerosol delivery systems for the treatment of lung cancer. It is hoped the development of this new technology may translate to improving treatments for other lung-based diseases such as asthma, pneumonia and chronic lung disease.

“These two exciting and innovative projects have strong commercialisation potential, and may also result in significant employment and financial returns for both NSW and Korea,” Mr Stoner said.

“NSW is a world-leader for the medical device industry. International research collaborations such as these help NSW to stay at the cutting-edge of new technologies.”

Bilateral merchandise trade between NSW and the Republic of Korea was worth over $5.4 billion in 2009-10 with exports topping $3.1 billion and imports over $2.3 billion.

Major NSW exports included coal, metals, meat, pharmaceuticals, vehicles, textiles and electrical machinery with imports including vehicles, telecommunications, recording equipment, petroleum, and electrical, office and industrial machinery.

Foreign investment is also increasing. In 2010, Australian investment in the Republic of Korea topped $6.8 billion with investment in Australia by South Korea over $9.3 billion.