Korea-Japan visit to strengthen critical minerals, hydrogen trade

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan will travel to Korea and Japan next week to promote Australia’s burgeoning critical minerals sector and emerging hydrogen industry.

Minister Canavan will be in Korea September 23 and 24. Over those days he will meet with Korea’s Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy and a number of important industry groups and businesses including the Korea-Australia Business Council, the Hyundai Motor Company, the Korea Gas Corporation and Korea Resources Corp.

The Minister will be in Japan from September 25 to 27. Key engagements include speaking at the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial meeting, signing a Memorandum of Cooperation with Japan’s Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, and meetings with energy and industrial heavyweights including Tokyo Gas, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsui and Mitsubishi.

Minister Canavan said while Australia had been blessed by record exports of coal, iron and gas, in coming years emerging commodities such as critical minerals and hydrogen would also make   a significant contribution to the national economy.

“Resources are one of our greatest economic strengths. To stay in our world-beating position, we must invest in emerging opportunities and promote them to the world, including our close neighbours in Asia. 

“Both Korea and Japan are advanced modern-day economies. They are home to many companies at the cutting edge of new technologies and there is strong interest in how our critical minerals can advance both our economies

“As a government, we are targeting the three ‘i's to help foster our critical minerals sector – investment, innovation and infrastructure – to clear the way for more development. Our detailed plans were released earlier this year in the Federal Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy.”

Minister Canavan said the visit would also reinforce Australia’s potential to become a leading supplier of hydrogen to the Asian region.

“There is a real appetite for hydrogen energy in Japan, and I will be making the most of any opportunity to strengthen resource-focused business and trade relationships between our nations,” he said.

“Australia is uniquely positioned to export high quality coal, LNG and hydrogen which will all have a role in Japan’s future energy mix.

“Earlier this year I helped turn the sod on a half-billion dollar pilot hydrogen project in Victoria, also supported by the Japanese Government and Japanese industry, which has the potential to create $2 billion in exports for Australia.

“It is just a taste of what could come from creating a commercial scale hydrogen supply chain which could lead to billions of dollars in export earnings for Australia and help Japan meet its strategic energy targets for 2030 and beyond.

“It is one of the first step in turning Australia into a major global exporter of hydrogen, particularly to countries such as Japan and South Korea.”

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