Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will explore new areas for strategic and economic cooperation and promote the timely conclusion of two vital Free Trade Agreements during a visit to Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong from 14 to 20 October.
During the week, the minister will meet students, alumni, academics and business leaders in the region to explore how young Australians will be able to capitalise on the study and internship opportunities to be offered under the New Colombo Plan.
In Japan, Ms Bishop will discuss with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and members of the Diet how Australia can build on our existing ties and enhance our cooperation in regional and global forums.
"Our longstanding close partnership with Japan is underpinned by shared values and common interests – a commitment to democracy and the rule of law, and to continued regional stability and prosperity," Ms Bishop said.
In South Korea, Ms Bishop will meet Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Trade Minister Yoon Sang-jick and other Cabinet members.
"South Korea is a key strategic partner in Asia, a colleague on the United Nations Security Council and our third-largest export market," she said.
Ms Bishop will become the first Australian Foreign Minister to address a major international forum on cyberspace when she attends the Seoul Cyberspace Conference on 17 October. She will join ministers from around 30 countries, as well as business and civil society leaders to discuss cyber security issues and the impact of the internet on economic growth and development.
Ms Bishop will visit Hong Kong, reinforcing its importance as an economic partner and as a leading regional base for Australian business. In Hong Kong Ms Bishop will meet Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So.
Planning is also underway for Ms Bishop's first official trip to China which is to take place this year.
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