PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Australian Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt has reached out to his counterparts in Japan and Korea to discuss potential collaboration between the countries to assist economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pitt said on Wednesday that his discussions with Korean Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yun-mo centered around the pandemic and progress collaboration on hydrogen and critical minerals.
The meeting comes a month after Pitt met with Japanese Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama to discuss similar issues, as well as energy security.
During the meetings Pitt emphasised that the resources sector was well positioned to lead the recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Australia is a stable supplier and our resource industry is showing great resilience during the pandemic. Australia is working closely with its resource trading partners during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“The Republic of Korea and Japan are both important energy and resources partners and these meetings are invaluable in terms of collaborating on shared issues and cementing our relationship,” the Minister said.
He pointed out that Australia has long-running official-level energy and resources partnerships with both countries, through the Australia-Korea Joint Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources Consultations and Cooperation (JCEM), and the Japan-Australia Energy and Resources Dialogue with Japan (JAERD).
As a resources and energy export market, the Republic of Korea and Japan were worth A$73-billion combined in 2018 to 2019.
“Our exports of coal, gas and uranium are crucial to global energy markets and our success in extracting and exporting lithium, copper, nickel and zinc also make Australia important in supporting new technology, including electric vehicles and batteries.
“The strength and diversity of Australia’s resource and energy commodities have allowed export earnings to overcome challenging world economic conditions — to the benefit of the Australian economy,” Pitt added.
Similar meetings are being planned with Ministerial counterparts from Australia’s other key trading partners, including China.