AUSTRALIA’S trade relations with one of North Asia’s powerhouse economies, South Korea, are often forgotten in favour of China, Japan and even Indonesia, especially after 2019’s hard won bilateral free trade agreement.
However until recently the nation was the Australia's second-largest LNG export market and is now third, while Australian exports are projected to rise in the mid-term as Seoul plans to retire more coal-fired power.
Now, Australia's ambassador to South Korea James Choi believes hydrogen cooperation is the way forward, seeing synergies with the LNG export industry much the same way Japan is looking to leverage its decades of trade ties as part of its own long term hydrogen economy plans.
Earlier this year now-departed resources minister Matt Canavan signed a cooperative agreement with his Japanese counterpart to work more closely on developing a hydrogen economy working on both R&D and multilateral legislation and cooperative efforts.
However such cooperation doesn't yet exist between Australia and South Korea but Australia's National Hydrogen Strategy released in late 2019 is bullish on the potential for Australia to make billions supplying large Asian economies.
"A cautiously optimistic scenario could see an Australian hydrogen industry generate about 7600 jobs and add about $11 billion a year in additional GDP by 2050 If global markets develop faster, it could mean another ten thousand jobs and at least $26 billion a year in GDP," a preface to the strategy said.
"Australia's got abundant gas and renewable energy. … I see hydrogen as the next phase of Australia's very important energy partnership with the Republic of Korea," Choi told the Korea Herald this week.
Source: Energy News Bulletin
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