Australian Government decides to make Korean a national priority language again

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today launched the Australia in the Asian Century South Korea Country Strategy. Consultations were held across Australia throughout April and May with business, academia, local government, youth groups, and community organisations participating in roundtables and ‘town-hall’-style public forums in each State and Territory capital.  The government received over 250 submissions, over 80 of which related to South Korea. Download the strategy and view the submissions at: Comment on the strategy via Twitter using the hashtag #AsianCentury, and tagging @DFAT.

The strategy explores the untapped potential in the Australia-South Korea relationship with our fourth-largest trading partner, particularly in investment.  The strategy notes a lack of awareness of South Korea in Australia, and the need to build links across education, culture and business. The need to deepen science and technology research cooperation with South Korea was also highlighted in the strategy.  As well, the strategy noted the opportunities to expand the scope of multilateral cooperation on non-proliferation, climate change and development. Public consultations highlighted the value of Korean language education as a means to support cultural understanding and build connections between communities, academia and business. Reflecting community views, and South Korea’s growing significance to Australia, the Government has decided to include Korean as a national priority language along with Mandarin, Indonesian, Hindi and Japanese. In all, five country strategies will be released, covering Australia’s five major relationships in Asia.  The Indonesia Country Strategy was released by the Prime Minister in Jakarta on 5 July 2013.  The remaining three, covering China, India, and Japan, will be released in due course.

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