Advancing New Zealand’s trade and economic interests will be the main focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s four day visit to the Republic of Korea this week.
“South Korea is one of our most significant trading partners,” David Parker said.
“We enjoy a strong friendship that dates back to New Zealand’s contribution to the Korean War. Today, as then, we have common interests in upholding the rules-based international order at a time of international uncertainty.”
The visit will help build on the Government’s efforts to expand and enhance our trading links.
He will be accompanied by a business delegation, representing sectors from food and beverage to renewable energy, for a programme in Seoul.
David Parker will also support Korea-NZ hydrogen collaboration in a meeting with industry and government representatives. The New Zealand Government has joined with a private sector consortium, coordinated by the New Zealand Hydrogen Association, to investigate the storage and transport of green hydrogen from New Zealand to Korea.
This project, if it proves feasible and economic, will introduce new hydrogen technology to New Zealand that will assist with our decarbonisation, will provide New Zealand with a new export industry, and will assist South Korea with its own decarbonisation efforts.
South Korea is New Zealand’s fifth largest goods export market and two-way goods trade totalled $4.2 billion in the year ending June 2019.
“We share strong bilateral trade and economic ties, underpinned by the Korea-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, but we see opportunity to do a lot more,” David Parker said.
He will travel on Air New Zealand’s inaugural flight from Auckland to Seoul. The new route will add 34,000 seats out to June 2020, which will benefit tourism and education, as well as business links between New Zealand and Korea.
“Beyond trade, our two countries have very strong people to people links. Nearly 90,000 Koreans visited New Zealand last year, and 36,000 Koreans live here. Korea is our fourth largest source of international students – attracted as much to our quality of life as our excellent education system.”
David Parker will lead a programme of outreach with major Korean companies to promote further trade, investment, technology and commercial collaboration.
He will attend the annual Kiwi Chamber Year End Grand Hui in Seoul, and meet influential private sector representatives and Government officials to discuss issues across his portfolios.