MIKTA Foreign Ministers
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met with her counterparts from Mexico, Indonesia, Korea and Turkey in Mexico City on 14 April to discuss global issues of common interest and strategies to enhance bilateral and plurilateral ties.
Updated information on how DFAT handles personal information is now available.
Signature of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement
The Minister for Trade and Investment Mr Robb and his South Korean counterpart, the Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy Mr Yoon Sang-jick, signed the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement on 8 April 2014. The ceremony was witnessed by Australian Prime Minister Mr Abbott and his South Korean counterpart, President of South Korea Ms Park Geun-hye.
The President of the Australian Academy of Humanities, Emeritus Professor Lesley Johnson AM FAHA, has recently met with Professor Sook-Il Kwun, President, and Professor Lee Song Mu, Vice-President, of Korea's National Academy of Sciences to discuss collaboration between Australian and Korean humanities scholars.
Korea's 3 Year Plan for Economic Innovation
President Park formally unveiled Korea's new 3 year plan in her address on 25 February 2014. She stressed that her goal is to build an economy based on strong fundamentals that will launch an era of happiness for the people. President Park said that the three key goals of her economic plan are, "an economy characterized by strong fundamentals, dynamic innovation and a balance between domestic demand and exports."
Further detail on Korea's current priorities:
Open for Business: Embracing a New Era of Opportunity in North Asia
Prime Minister's Address to the Asia Society, Canberra, 26 March
The Australia-Korea Foundation was proud to support the Asia Society's luncheon on 26 March with a key note address by The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, ahead of his April 2014 visit to Japan, Korea and China.
The Prime Minister says he hopes to witness the signing of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement while in Korea.
"The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement will reduce or eliminate tariffs on key agricultural exports and will open opportunities for innovative service businesses, well suited to compete in President Park's "Creative Economy".
"We will open the doors – but Australian businesses will still have to walk through in order to maximise the benefits of these arrangements, in the same way that Hastings Fund Management, for instance, an infrastructure fund manager, has opened an office in Seoul and is now in partnership with the Incheon International Airport Corporation."
The Prime Minister also highlighted the New Colombo Plan and emphasised the depth of connection within the region based on decades of stability.
"Of course, for millions of Australians, the countries of Asia are family, through ties of ancestry, marriage and migration. These bonds are to be nurtured as much as the bonds of trade and commerce."
The transcript is available on the Prime Minister's website.
Watch the complete program (23 minutes) on the Asia Society website.
2014–15 Grants and Scholarships Rounds—Open, closing 11 April (5pm AEST)
The Australia-Korea Foundation invites applications for grants and scholarships from Australians wishing to further their engagement with Korea in 2014–15.
Applications should be completed online by 5pm AEST, 11 April 2014.
AKF grants typically involve a contribution of between $20,000 and $30,000 towards a significant project with clear goals and committed partners.
Scholarships assist with the travel and living expenses incurred while undertaking language studies (up to $5,000), research (up to $15,000) and internships (up to $10,000) in Korea.
The new priority areas for the Foundation in 2014–15 are:
- Korean language and literacy
- science and innovation (with a focus on health, ageing and social change)
- sports diplomacy (with a focus on the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, to be hosted by Australia, and the 2018 Winter Olympics to be hosted by Korea).
The Foundation will also consider applications in other areas, such as projects that advance Australia's engagement with Korea by supporting cultural and academic pursuits, business and community exchanges, and partnerships and collaborations.
New AKF priority areas for 2014–15
In the context of the successful conclusion of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, in support of President Park’s Three Year Plan for Economic Innovation and with reference to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Strategy for Korea, the AKF has designated the following priority areas for 2014–15. The Foundation will also consider applications in other areas, such as projects that advance Australia’s engagement with Korea by supporting cultural and academic pursuits, business and community exchanges, and partnerships and collaborations..
Korea language and literacy: Developing the language and literacy skills of Australians to effectively engage with Korea and build a deeper understanding of Korean society, politics and the economy, including language studies and student/professional exchanges.
Science innovation: Establishment of new partnerships or strengthening of existing collaborations between institutions and peak bodies and their counterparts in Korea, particularly in emerging fields of research and development. Health, aging and social change projects are of particular interest.
Sports diplomacy: Projects harnessing major sporting events, such as the 2015 Asian Cup hosted by Australia and the 2018 Winter Olympics hosted by Korea, to develop ties between the sports and business communities of Korea and Australia.
Korea-Australia FTA text released
Minister Robb and his Korean counterpart, Trade Minister Yoon, concluded negotiations on the Australia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) in early December 2013. The legally verified text of the agreement was initialled by Chief Negotiators on 10 February 2014 and released to the public on 17 February 2014.
Opportunity for Teaching & Research in Korea at Yonsei University
The Centre for Australian Studies (CAS) at Yonsei University in Korea invites applications for the position of Visiting Lecturer in Australian Studies for one semester in 2014. This position is a key initiative under the 'Building a Teaching Base for Australian Studies in Korean Universities' project, supported by an Australia-Korea Foundation grant.
The successful applicant will teach a postgraduate subject for a semester on an aspect of Australia approached from a social sciences perspective and taught within the Graduate School of International Studies. It is expected that he/she will also participate in the Centre's research and education activities, such as seminars, research collaboration, joint grant applications and guest lectures.