The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

20 December 2012

New President Elected in the Republic of Korea

Australia congratulates President-elect Park Geun-hye on her election on 19 December as the next President of the Republic of Korea. Madame Park is also Korea's first female President.

Australia and the Republic of Korea share a strong and enduring friendship built upon our shared sacrifices during the Korean War, evolving economic relationship and people-to-people exchanges.

Today, the Republic of Korea is Australia's fourth-largest trading partner with two-way trade reaching $33 billion in 2011-12. Both nations are also working to complete a high-quality and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

We have developed strong defence ties, work closely together as like-minded powers in such forums as the G20 and the East Asian Summit, and consult regularly on issues as diverse as development assistance, broadband and green-growth. Korea and Australia were also recently elected to two-year terms on the UN Security Council.

Australia has long held President-elect Park in high regard. We have welcomed her to Australia twice, most recently as a guest of our government in 2008. Prime Minister Gillard had the pleasure of meeting President-elect Park during the Prime Minister's visit to Seoul in March 2012.

The Government looks forward to working with President-elect Park after she is sworn in on 25 February and I am confident the bilateral relationship will continue to deepen under her Presidency.

I would also like to pay tribute to outgoing President Lee Myung-bak. President Lee has taken a strong personal interest in developing the warm partnership our countries share. He visited Australia early in his Presidency and has met Prime Minister Gillard six times.

Australia has appreciated his commitment to the relationship and his regional leadership.