South Korea and 10 Southeast Asian nations on Wednesday began a two-day meeting to promote exchanges in culture, arts and tourism.
Culture ministers and senior officials from South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations attended the event in the southwestern city of Gwangju.
It came one month before a leaders' summit to be held Nov.25-26 in the southeastern port city of Busan to mark the 30th anniversary of establishing a dialogue partnership between the two sides.
"Through this culture ministerial meeting, we expect to create a momentum for a substantial development in Korea-ASEAN cultural exchanges and cooperation," the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a press release.
Culture and tourism officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations visit the Asia Culture Center in the southwestern city of Gwangju, the venue for Korea-ASEAN culture ministers` talks, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The two-day schedule began with a forum on tourism on Wednesday afternoon in which officials and experts discussed ways to increase cooperation between the two sides and utilize cultural assets to develop tourism.
"Korea and ASEAN countries own an abundance of cultural assets with special traits. We hope to find ways expand tourism exchanges and improve the tourism industry," Vice Minister Kin Yong-sam said in opening remarks.
An official banquet for participants and a traditional music performance will be held in the evening.
A ministers' conference set for Thursday will discuss ways to promote exchanges of cultural institutions, industries and artists between the two sides, the ministry said. Also on the agenda is cooperation for better preservation and utilization of cultural heritage.
The ministers plan to issue a joint statement after the meeting.
"The ministry will propose diverse and concrete cooperative projects to expand Korea-ASEAN cultural exchanges as part of the tasks of the New Southern Policy," the ministry said.
The New Southern Policy is President Moon Jae-in's initiative proclaimed in 2017 to enhance relations with the Southeast Asian region. (Yonhap)