President Moon Jae-in made the following remarks during Session I of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit today:
I hope ASEAN and Korea will deepen our friendship and jointly write new chapters in history over the next three decades, building upon the past 30 years of cooperation.
Over the next 30 years, we will jointly pursue “Partnership for Peace, Prosperity for People.” Korea intends to join hands with ASEAN on a journey toward a people-centered community of inclusiveness, innovation, trade and peace.
First, we aspire to build an inclusive community centered on people.
My “people first” governing philosophy aims for the same goal expressed by ASEAN: “Building a People-Oriented Community.”
We will lower regulatory barriers, including the streamlining of the visa issuance system, to enable Koreans and the people of ASEAN to get together more easily and understand each other more deeply.
We will conclude working holiday agreements with ASEAN member states that will permit vibrant interaction among our young people. At the same time, we will actively cooperate on cultivating future leaders by at least doubling the number of ASEAN students on scholarships by 2022.
In addition, the Republic of Korea will provide enhanced support so that the ASEAN-Korea Centre, the ASEAN Culture House and the Asia Culture Center serve as bridges to bring our hearts together. Just as people in ASEAN member states love K-dramas and K-pop, I hope that the splendid cultures of ASEAN will become more widely known in Korea.
Second, we aim to establish an innovative community of mutual prosperity.
In this age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is crucial to create an innovation ecosystem where startups can grow. I am pleased that the Republic of Korea and ASEAN agreed to forge startup partnerships.
I’ve personally observed ASEAN’s capability for innovation – witnessed in the potential of a variety of rapidly growing unicorn enterprises and startups within ASEAN, including Grab and Travleoka.
After today’s Commemorative Summit, the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit and the ASEAN-ROK Innovation Showcase 2019 will be held one after another. I’d like to see these two gatherings serve as venues for startups from ASEAN and Korea to create innovation through cooperation.
R&D technology innovation and digital transformation are indispensable for a joint response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I hope that a Korea-ASEAN industrial innovation organization will be launched to spur technology innovation at both SMEs and mid-market companies.
Korea will utilize its advanced digital technology and more than double official development assistance by 2022, thereby contributing to helping resolve development gaps within ASEAN. I praise the signing of development cooperation MOUs with five ASEAN member states this time.
Third, we aim to establish a fair and free-trade community. The Republic of Korea will work closely together with ASEAN member states to prevent trade and investments in the region from being contracted by the spread of protectionism.
The Korea-ASEAN FTA, which took effect in 2007, has become a major driving force for the expansion of regional trade and economic development. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a higher-standard trade deal, will mark the beginning of a huge economic bloc that consolidates half of the world’s population and one third of global GDP. I look forward to the final signing as planned for next year forming an important foundation for the building of a regional trade community.
On the bilateral level, Korea signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Indonesia yesterday, following those with Singapore and Vietnam. Korea will strive harder to establish a trade community going forward by pursuing FTAs with Malaysia, the Philippines and Cambodia.
Fourth, we will build a “peace” community on the Korean Peninsula and in Asia.
When peace arrives on the Korean Peninsula, Asian economies can be connected across the continent and ocean as well as vertically and horizontally.
It will be easier for ASEAN to advance to the continent, and peace will open up more opportunities. Ultimately, the peace-driven economy will form a virtuous cycle in which economic cooperation further solidifies regional peace.
I am deeply grateful to ASEAN for making a significant contribution to peace on the Korean Peninsula by accepting North Korea as a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum.
Korea will also contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia. In addition to Korea-ASEAN bilateral meetings, Korea will continue to cooperate with ASEAN through the ASEAN+3 Summit, the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum.