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Korea and Australia build connections for women in business

28 July, 2009

Over one hundred Korean business women from 12 different countries and Australian business women shared international trade and investment insights at the Korean Women's International Network Foundation Convention in Sydney recently.

Austrade’s Executive Director for Export and Investment Services, Pat Evans, presented a session entitled ‘The Importance of Women for Economic Recovery and Business Prosperity’.
Evans said “the conference offered an opportunity to highlight the role women business professionals in both countries can play in economic recovery.
“Korea is Australia’s third largest merchandise trading partner and strong people-to-people links, including a Korean expatriate population of 120,000 people and 200,000 annual visitors, are helping underpin strong trade ties.
“Women business professionals from both countries have a lot to benefit from greater mutual understanding.
“This is particularly true when the global economy is now suffering the consequences of high-risk, high debt practices, and traditionally 'female' business skills are increasingly in demand.
“Greater aversion to risk, more time taken and greater consideration in decision making, a lower appetite for debt, and a commitment to corporate and social responsibility over bottom-line fever, are traits that can play an increasingly important role in post-downturn business success,” Evans said.
President of the KOWIN Foundation, Professor Kyunghee Lee, said “The network enables and encourages Korean women to share their knowledge with women leaders from around the world.
“The conference will help build and maintain connections formed through the event, while enhancing business and professional development opportunities,” Professor Lee said.
Austrade’s Chief Economist Tim Harcourt said “Australia can be assured it has a strong entrepreneurial spirit amongst the female professional and business population.
“While women may be an untapped resource as far as business leadership in Australia is concerned, the exporter community is leading the way.
“According to Austrade-DHL research the more successful exporters tend to have female participation at the top of the company.”
"Nine per cent of exporting SMEs are run by women, but amongst the exporter 'heartland' 15% of exporter CEOs are women and 22% have a female head of exporting. Queensland is the leading state, followed by WA.”
“In 2008 Australia’s merchandise exports to Korea grew by over 37% to reach A$18.5 billion,” Harcourt said.
VIP guests at the conference included the Consul-General to Australia Woong-Nam Kim and the Director General of Korea Business Centre in Sydney, Seong-Soo Kim.

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