Chairman's Christmas Message

Dear AKBCWA Members,

2020 has been a year that presented both large challenges and new opportunities for AKBCWA and all of our members. I am very proud of the way the Board members worked with our members to ensure we could all get through the uncertainty of COVID-19 and rebound quickly from the immediate impact from the pandemic.

We are also very lucky to be based in Western Australia where have had no community transmissions for over 200 days.

As Australia Korea Business Council of WA (AKBCWA)’s major focus is to serve our members, we believe in providing a service to help you network, develop opportunities, and learn more about the Australian-Korean market.

For the past 12 months, our membership base has increased 12% and our online presence has increased 144%.

In 2020, our members responded to new opportunities and challenges of COVID-19 pandemic while the AKBCWA focus to creating new networking and promotional opportunities to assist our member’s business succeed and grow such as:

· Launching of the AKBCWA Strategic Plan 2020-2030:

Following a strategic planning meeting from last year and several internal and external conversations, we proudly launch our new Strategic Plan 2020-2030. The Plan includes our vision, purpose and values statements, together with a range of environment and strategic focus for the next 10 years. Thanks to the WA Government’s Asian Engagement Division for the great support to make it happen.

· As we face the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, the AKBCWA is trying to support the immediate impact to enable business continuity, while assisting our community as a whole:

AKBCWA has been working with its members on a range of issues, including the impacts of COVID-19 on the important international education sector and the plight of many international students. AKBCWA connected with all of our university members, StudyPerth and LotteryWest and State Government, sharing our views and advice in this sector and this situation. We have been working closely with Study Perth and LotteryWest to secure funding for stranded International Korean students due to the COVID-19. AKBCWA initiated a home care package to 96 Korean students based in Perth affected due to the COVID-19. We prepared and distributed 96 home essential packages which included rice, noodles, assorted snacks, drinks and toilet paper.

· Building a strategic reciprocal partnership with Australian Chamber of Commerce Korea:

The AKBCWA and The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AustCham Korea) have formalised a reciprocal corporate partnership agreement to forge strong ties between the two respective organisations and their corporate membership base. The agreement will allow commercial benefits to the corporate membership base as well as upcoming corporate events for the coming twelve months. We look at extending this for another twelve months and hope there will be more activities between our two organisations.

· Assisted UWA for the $1.2m funding for the Korea Research Centre:

AKBCWA education partner, UWA established the Korea Research Centre of WA. This is a great validation on the importance of commercial, cultural and education exchange between Australia and South Korea. This grant will educate students on the great future and potential opportunities between our two great nations.

· Hosted Australia-Korea Hydrogen Futures Roundtable 2020

AKBCWA, together with University of Western Australia Korea Research Centre, in collaboration with the City of Perth, we held our 'Australia-Korea Hydrogen Futures Roundtable 2020'.

Over 100 guests from the WA hydrogen industry, academia, government, civil sectors attended this event and we had online participations for people who couldn’t join us due to restrictions. Given the success of the event the AKBCWA will continue to play a significant role to explore collaboration opportunities in hydrogen between the Western Australia - Korea to ensure the opportunities in trade, investment and research are maximised.

· Hosted the AKBCWA Boardroom Lunch with Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds, Minister for Defence

This high level event was a very insightful for WA and Korea defence business sectors interested in learning more about the Defence Minister’s plans on new policies and strategies. Also looking at opportunities in creating new investment, export, and engagement with key stakeholders.

There are a number of indicators which show we should be optimistic heading into 2021, including promising vaccine news, $10 trillion in global infrastructure spend which will drive WA's mining industry, the opening of national borders and general sentiment in the WA business community that things are improving. The recent tariffs imposed on Australia would also signal a great opportunity for South Korean and Australian trade as we lead up to the sixth anniversary of the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Moving forward, I’d also like to announce the following proposed events for 2021;

· Korean Ambassador Visit program to Western Australia

· Australia-Korea Roundtable 2021


· End of Financial year event

· And many more

I look forward to your continued support and participation in the Council activities to strengthen Australia Korea Business relationships.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you a safe and very merry Christmas and a happy New Year filled with peace, joy, productivity and prosperity.

Your Sincerely,

Tommy Shin

Executive Chairman of AKBCWA

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