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PM attends 2019 ASEAN-RoK Commemorative Summit

Released at: 14:18, 27/11/2019

PM attends 2019 ASEAN-RoK Commemorative Summit

The 2019 ASEAN - RoK Commemorative Summit (Photo: VNA)

Event held in Busan on November 26 in celebration of 30th anniversary of ASEAN-RoK dialogue relations.

by Long Van

The 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea (RoK) Commemorative Summit was held in Busan on November 26 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the launch of dialogue relations.

The host country’s President Moon Jae-in announced cooperation initiatives with ASEAN, such as improving the visa system for ASEAN citizens to the RoK, doubling the number of scholarships offered to ASEAN students, establishing the ASEAN-RoK startup partnership, supporting startups in new technologies, building the ASEAN-RoK industrial innovation center, and further supporting ASEAN in digital technology development.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was among leaders attending the Summit.

As quoted by the online newspaper of the government (VGP), the Prime Minister suggested in the first session of the Summit that the RoK actively support ASEAN in training high-quality human resources so that its workforce can meet the requirements of the digital economy.

He stated that ASEAN-RoK relations have been established and strengthened over the past three decades on the basis of mutual understanding, mutual respect, and a sharing of common visions, thereby bringing benefits to the nations and peoples of the two sides.

He suggested a number of important directions for ASEAN-RoK cooperation in the next 30 years, including increasing the strategic element of partnerships, upholding compliance with international law, and shaping an open, inclusive, transparent, and rules-based regional architecture.

The Prime Minister also asked the RoK to support ASEAN in establishing a marine science research center to boost cooperation in developing the marine economy and preserving the marine environment.

Highlighting the importance of maintaining peace, security, and stability in the region, he asked the RoK to back ASEAN’s stance and principles on the East Sea issue, including promoting compliance with international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, strengthening dialogue and trust building, implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and negotiating a code of conduct in an effective and substantial manner and in accordance with international law, thus maintaining the East Sea as a waterway of peace, stability, cooperation, and free trade.

Meanwhile, according to a report from the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), other leaders shared views that the ASEAN-RoK partnership has developed remarkably over the past 30 years across all spheres, ranging from politics-security to economy, culture, social affairs, and people-to-people exchanges. The RoK is one of ASEAN’s leading partners.

Leaders lauded the RoK’s New Southern Policy and President Moon Jae-in’s efforts in strengthening relations with ASEAN in the three pillars of peace, property, and people.

They called on the RoK to further assist ASEAN in enhancing connectivity and building the ASEAN Community, back its central role, and actively participate in mechanisms led by ASEAN aiming at promoting dialogue and building trust.

They also called for the RoK’s cooperation in coping with non-traditional security challenges, thus contributing to maintaining peace, security, and stability in the region.

In economics, the RoK is ASEAN’s fifth-largest trade partner and investor, while the bloc is the RoK’s second-largest trade partner.

Two-way trade stood at $160.5 billion in 2018, up 16-fold compared with 1990. The RoK invested $6.6 billion in ASEAN last year.

The two sides agreed to beef up trade and investment ties, optimize the economic benefits brought about by the ASEAN-RoK Free Trade Area, and strive to raise bilateral trade to $200 billion in 2020.

They will also join hands to promote economic liberalization and connectivity and make efforts to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement in 2020.

Apart from cultural and people-to-people exchanges as well as tourism links, the two sides will forge partnerships in innovation, smart city building, combatting natural disasters, climate change response, and sustainable forestry development.

At the second session of the Summit on the same day, Prime Minister Phuc joined President Moon Jae-in and leaders from other ASEAN countries in discussions on a more effective partnership between ASEAN and the RoK.

Prime Minister Phuc, as quoted by VNA, proposed a number of directions to promote cooperation for connectivity between the RoK and ASEAN, including connecting and developing infrastructure at seaports along the strategic shipping route from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean linking Southeast Asia with Northeast Asia.

He also asked the RoK to accelerate the disbursement of capital from the Global Infrastructure Fund to support ASEAN infrastructure projects.

The Vietnamese leader said that with its technological strength, especially digital technology, the RoK is in a good position to assist ASEAN businesses, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in adapting to Industry 4.0 and the digital economy.

The Prime Minister suggested ASEAN and the RoK strongly invest in connecting people, facilitating travel and tourism, and promoting the flow of skilled workers between the two sides.

ASEAN leaders, meanwhile, emphasized that connectivity is ASEAN’s highest priority in its efforts to promote regional connectivity and build the ASEAN Community, according to the news agency.

They expressed their thanks for the RoK’s effective support to the bloc in implementing master plans on ASEAN connectivity in the 2010-2015 and 2015-2025 periods, and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) narrowing the development gap, and developing human resources, vocational training, smart cities, roads, railways and sea routes to connect areas in ASEAN.

ASEAN member nations wish to expand comprehensive cooperation with the RoK in the fields of infrastructure development, digital connectivity, and people-to-people exchange, they said.

For his part, President Moon Jae-in, as quoted by VNA, affirmed that the RoK will actively cooperate with ASEAN to foster regional connectivity.

Regarding infrastructure development, the RoK will contribute to increasing cohesion between island and continental areas in East Asia, and encourage its businesses to invest in 19 key infrastructure projects in the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, the President said.

In terms of digital connectivity, the RoK will accelerate connections of smart urban infrastructure, through choosing Busan and Sejong to pilot links with the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN), and enhance the sharing of satellite data with ASEAN on monitoring climate change and environmental impacts in Asia, he said, adding that his country will also improve its visa system to facilitate ASEAN citizens’ travel to the RoK, and encourage cooperation in maritime and aviation transport between the two sides.

The President also announced an RoK initiative on providing vocational training to 100 teachers and 400 workers from ASEAN over the next three years, and confirmed that the country will also support ASEAN member nations in improving technological capacity and solutions, and will double the number of scholarships offered to ASEAN citizens by 2022.

During a working lunch on promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula on the same day, ASEAN and RoK leaders applauded the historic progress in dialogue for peace and denuclearization, including the inter-Korean and US-DPRK Summits, according to VNA.

ASEAN leaders highly appreciated the efforts made by the RoK Government and President Moon Jae-in in promoting the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and affirmed ASEAN’s willingness to support and contribute to joint efforts towards sustainable peace and denuclearization, including creating conditions for the parties to intensify dialogue within ASEAN-led forums.

The President also acknowledged the positive and constructive stance and goodwill of ASEAN nations to contribute to dialogue and cooperation for peace and denuclearization on the peninsula.

Prime Minister Phuc, as quoted by VNA, said that along with other ASEAN countries, Vietnam supports dialogue to reduce tensions, while calling on parties concerned to strictly implement Resolutions from the UN Security Council on denuclearization, towards building a peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula.

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