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Last Updated:[04-03-2009 07:32:00 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

South Korea`s President Lee Arrives in Australia – Climate Change, the Main Feature



tradenews President of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak’s arrival to Australia has marked a new beginning in a ‘greenish’ collaboration with Australia, the world leader in carbon capture and sequestration. Lee began his tour from New Zealand where he concluded his meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key with assurances on FTA, and after his Australian visit he would be travelling to Indonesia to complete his last leg of trade trip.

When Lee meets Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tomorrow, he wants to seek co-operation in technology transfers and exchanges in regard to renewable energy resources. He held similar kind of talks with the New Zealand prime minister earlier as he aspired to position South Korea as a leader in pro-climate initiatives in Asia.

A new security agreement between Australia and South Korea along the lines which the former has with Japan will also be discussed besides improving trade ties by replacing mutually beneficial FTA. However, the security deal is likely to invite some opposition from China, the largest trading partner of Australia while they had signed a similar deal with Japan.

Lee had remarked earlier that he recalled the contribution made by Australia during the Korean War. Australia was one of the first countries to send troops on behalf of the South Koreans in the war with North Korea which lasted three years until an armistice was signed in July 1953.

Lee is also understood to back Rudd’s vision of creating an Asia-Pacific Union during his visit. Rudd before the global meltdown had stated that he wished to establish an Asia-Pacific community consisting of potential economic powerhouses including the US, China, Japan and India by 2020.

He kicked off the tour with a speech to an Australia-Korea Green Business Forum in Sydney through an interpreter. During the first day of his visit to Australia, he urged businesses to invest in Korea as such co-operation could eventually be able to address the adverse global economic issues rapidly.

South Korea is Australia's sixth largest trading partner and two-way trade is estimated at $22.6bn in 2008. According to sources, the Korean investment in Australia has risen by 400 percent in the last one year, while Australian investment to South Korea showed an increase of 40 percent.

Lee the former CEO of Hyundai Engineering and a businessman said that he looked forward to forge an alliance with Australia particularly in green technology which would be beneficial not just to the parties involved but also to the entire planet. Recently, Lee had rolled out a new deal to the development of green energy in his country. When he meets Rudd tomorrow it is evident that the primary focus would be to co-operate in green energy development by not sidelining other diplomatic needs including security pact and FTA.

By Jose Roy




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