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The year of 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. It is also a milestone year for ASEAN-Korea relations, as it was designated as the ASEAN-ROK Cultural Exchange Year by the leaders of ASEAN and Korea.
The ASEAN-Korea Centre, marking its 9th anniversary this year, will make continuous efforts to serve as a key player in building a lasting and genuine partnership between ASEAN and Korea. Among others, in celebration of the ASEAN-ROK Cultural Exchange Year, the Centre will place special emphasis on introducing the diverse cultures of the 10 ASEAN Member States to Korea, connecting the hearts and minds of the peoples of the two regions through the means of culture. One example is the plan to designate May 2017 as the Month of ASEAN, during which the International Conference, ASEAN Culinary Festival, ASEAN School Tour, ASEAN Tourism Promotional Pavilion, Photo Contest & Exhibition, and many other special programs for ASEAN culture and awareness will be carried out.
Also, many of the Centre’s programs will focus on pursuing sustainable development. More focus will be made on assisting the development of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in ASEAN, in terms of expanding their trade in Korea and gaining greater investment. Furthermore, the Centre will design programs aiming to promote and preserve rich cultural heritages in ASEAN, and will continue its community-based tourism program, which is another key element for sustainable tourism and sustainable development. Also, recognizing the importance of youth exchange, the Centre will provide various platforms for the future leaders of the two regions to foster long-lasting friendships.
Last but not least, the Centre will continuously upgrade its programs through cooperation with relevant organizations and other international organizations. Also, it will develop needs-based and tailored-made programs for each ASEAN Member State, to enhance the mutually beneficial partnership between ASEAN and Korea. The Centre’s efforts will also contribute to further development of the ASEAN Community that was launched at the end of 2015.
We sincerely look forward to your continued interest in, and support for, the activities of the ASEAN-Korea Centre. Kim Young-sun, Secretary General of the ASEAN-Korea Centre