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ASEAN

Overview

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ASEAN and the Republic of Korea (ROK) initiated sectoral dialogue relations in November 1989. The ROK was accorded a full Dialogue Partner status by ASEAN at the 24th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in July 1991 in Kuala Lumpur. Since the ASEAN-ROK partnership was elevated to a summit level in 1997 in Kuala Lumpur, relations between ASEAN and the ROK have broadened and deepened.

The relationship reached a new height with the signing of the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Cooperation Partnership at the 8th ASEAN-ROK Summit on 30 November 2004 in Vientiane.

In 2009, which marked the 20th anniversary of the Dialogue Partnership between ASEAN and Korea, the ASEAN-Korea Center was established. It was founded in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) signed by the 10 ASEAN member states and Korea at the 11th ASEAN-ROK Summit in 2007.

In 2012, the Korean government established the Mission of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, where the ASEAN Secretariat is located. The Mission was set up to further strengthen the cooperative partnership between Korea and ASEAN, making it the fourth nation to open an official mission to ASEAN after the U.S., Japan, and China.

The 13th ASEAN-ROK Summit on 29 October 2010 in Ha Noi agreed to elevate ASEAN-ROK dialogue relations from comprehensive cooperation to strategic partnership. In order to concretise the elevation, the Leaders adopted the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-ROK Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity and its Action Plan, which covers the period of 2011-2015. A new ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity for the period 2016-2020 was adopted at the Post-Ministerial Conference with the ROK held on 5 August 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The ROK intends to establish an ASEAN Culture House in Busan which would serve to boost bilateral cultural cooperation and people-to-people contact. The plan is to complete the ASEAN Culture House by 2017 to coincide with ASEAN's 50th Anniversary.

The ROK is committed to working together with ASEAN in the ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus and East Asia Summit to promote regional peace and prosperity and shape the future regional architecture. The ROK reaffirmed its support for ASEAN's central role in these regional frameworks. ASEAN acknowledged the active role and contribution of the ROK in promoting EAST Asian integration.

ASEAN, KOREA’S KEY PARTNER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT

ASEAN and Korea are key partners of economic cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, and construction. The trade volume between the two regions has increased 15 fold from 8.2 billion USD in 1989 to 119 billion USD in 2015, and ASEAN has surpassed US, EU and Japan to become Korea’s second largest trade partner after China. Since the ASEAN-Korea FTA came into full force in 2009, economic cooperation has expanded in various areas such as in investment and service, making ASEAN the second largest investment destination. Moreover, once negotiations to further liberalize the ASEAN-Korea FTA bear fruit, the goal of achieving the target of 200 billion USD in bilateral trade by 2020 will gain impetus. Together with the invigoration of business related to ASEAN Connectivity – a core component of ASEAN Economic Community – the mutually beneficial ASEAN-Korea partnership is also expected to grow.



ENHANCED PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE EXCHANGE AND MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING

People-to-people exchanges have been vigorous between ASEAN and Korea. In 2015, 5.83 million Korean people visited the ASEAN region, making it the most popular travel destination for Koreans. Meanwhile, Korea received nearly 1.6 million visitors from ASEAN countries during the same period, which is the third largest number of foreign visitors to Korea after China and Japan. Furthermore, while Hallyu (Korean wave) has undeniably played an important role in facilitating people-to-people exchanges between ASEAN and Korea, Southeast Asian culture has been gaining huge popularity in Korea as well. In addition, the 480 thousand ASEAN people residing in Korea and the 400 thousand Korean people in ASEAN are acting as a bridge between the regions to connect the two peoples.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of ROK / ASEAN Secretariat

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