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[ASEAN-Korea summit] Co-chair’s statement of the 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit

“Partnership for Peace, Prosperity for People”

1. The ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Commemorative Summit was held on 26 November 2019 in Busan, the ROK. The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and H.E. Moon Jae-in, President of the ROK, and attended by Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance.

2. We welcomed the significant progress of ASEAN-ROK relations during this important year which commemorates the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Relations.
We also welcomed the ROK’s commitment under its New Southern Policy to further strengthen relations with ASEAN in line with the three pillars of the ASEAN Community and appreciated the ROK’s continued contribution to the region’s development.

3. We welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action 2016-2020, and renewed our commitment to work towards a strategic vision for ASEAN-ROK future relations and to forge closer cooperation through the new ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action for the period 2021-2025 which will be adopted in 2020.

4. We reiterated our support for Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship under the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”, which aims to ensure sustainability in all dimensions in order to bring about regional stability and prosperity, and achieve a people-centered and forward-looking ASEAN Community that leaves no one behind. We welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision on Partnership for Sustainability at the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok. In this connection, the ASEAN Leaders looked forward to the ROK’s continued support for the ASEAN Centre for
Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue as well as the ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation recently launched in Thailand.

5. We appreciated the ROK’s contribution to ASEAN’s development and community building efforts including through the realization of the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together, as well as the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC 2025), aimed at narrowing the development gaps, enhancing regional connectivity, and promoting a seamless ASEAN through connecting the connectivities initiative.

6. We expressed appreciation for the ROK’s continued support for ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture, including the ROK’s support of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. Along this line, we encouraged that the Outlook, adopted at the 34th ASEAN Summit, be used as a guide in promoting possible cooperation within the existing and future initiatives of ASEAN and its external partners, including the ROK. We also reaffirmed our commitment to strengthen cooperation through the various ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the ASEAN Plus Three (APT), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus).



Political-Security Cooperation

7. We reaffirmed ASEAN and the ROK’s important role in building up the political- security, economic, socio-cultural, and people-to-people agenda of the Asia-Pacific region and agreed to continue working closely together in support of global peace, security, prosperity, and sustainable development. In this regard, we welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN-ROK Joint Vision Statement for Peace, Prosperity and Partnership, which will further enhance the ASEAN-ROK strategic partnership.

8. We reiterated our joint commitment to further enhance cooperation to address traditional and non-traditional threats to regional peace and security, including transnational crime, cybersecurity, terrorism and violent extremism, maritime security, natural disasters, food and energy security, nuclear safety, climate change-related disasters and environment management.

9. We looked forward to enhanced collaboration on transnational crime through training and capacity building of law enforcement personnel, including police, prosecutors, investigating magistrates and customs personnel and other personnel charged with the prevention, detection and control of the offences. In this regard, we looked forward to the newly established ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime with the ROK (AMMTC+ROK) to be held on 28 November 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, and looked forward to continuing this meaningful meeting in the future. We also anticipated the adoption of the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC)-ROK Work Plan (2019-2023) for Cooperation to Prevent and Combat Transnational Crime. We also agreed to further increase cooperation in border management to safeguard our region while facilitating movement of people and in police cooperation under the frameworks of INTERPOL and ASEANAPOL.

10. We looked forward to strengthening the ASEAN-ROK cooperation in promoting peaceful and safe uses of nuclear energy. In this connection, we encouraged more cooperation projects which would contribute to the capacity building of the ASEAN Member States in this area in order to reinforce regional non-proliferation regime and enhance the regions’ preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency.

Economic Cooperation

11. We acknowledged the significant economic relations between both sides, as the ROK remained ASEAN’s fifth largest trading partner and fifth largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2018. We were also pleased with the two-way trade volume between ASEAN and the ROK, which grew by 4.4 per cent amounting to $160.5 billion in 2018, and accounting for 5.7 per cent of ASEAN’s total merchandise trade. We also noted a strong surge of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows from the ROK into ASEAN amounting to $6.6 billion in 2018.

12. We agreed to work towards shared prosperity in the areas of mutual interest related to trade in goods, trade in services and investment through trade facilitation and other regulatory improvements and by encouraging greater involvement from the private sector including through utilizing on the ASEAN-ROK Free Trade Area (AKFTA) for achieving the set ASEAN-ROK trade target of USD 200 billion by 2020. We also agreed to continue the work on the further liberalization of products in the Sensitive Track (ST) List under the ASEAN-Korea Trade in Goods Agreement. Noting the benefits of the Third Protocol to Amend the ASEAN-Korea Trade in Goods Agreement (AKTIGA) for businesses in terms of improved trade facilitation and transparency, we looked forward to the full ratification and effective implementation of the Protocol by all Parties.

13. We welcomed that 15 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Participating Countries have concluded text-based negotiations to create a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial RCEP Agreement and would work together on outstanding issues with a view to signing the agreement in 2020.

14. The ASEAN Leaders appreciated the ROK’s support to ASEAN through economic cooperation projects which contributed to capacity-building of ASEAN Member States in various areas. We welcomed the endorsement of six new projects in the areas of trade facilitation, e-commerce, environment and emerging technologies by the ASEAN-Korea FTA Implementing Committee in 2019, and noted that these projects are being implemented by ASEAN Member States and the ROK.

15. We welcomed the work of the ASEAN-Korean Business Council (AKBC) and the ASEAN-Korea Centre (AKC) in increasing trade and investment flows, deepening business-to-business cooperation and networking, promoting connectivity and tourism, fostering people-to-people exchanges, and increasing cultural exchanges between ASEAN and the ROK. We also appreciated the AKC’s efforts in organizing commemorative programs throughout the year such as the ASEAN-Korea Train, which organized on-board performances and showcased culture, history and development in major cities in the ROK, aimed at fostering mutual understanding among participants from ASEAN and Korea, and ASEAN Week which featured a variety of performances that combine traditional and modern culture, fashion shows, tourism pavilions and food zones. We also encouraged the AKBC to work closely with the AKC and relevant ASEAN bodies to help transform ASEAN into a digital-driven economy and prepare our peoples for the newest technological developments in emerging industry sectors including 5G technology, Artificial Intelligence, Banking & Finance and e-Commerce. We also noted with appreciation the establishment of the Dialogue between the ASEAN Secretary-General and the Association of ASEAN Korean Chambers (AAKC), held for the first time on 24 November 2019 in Busan, the ROK, and expressed hopes that this new channel of communication would serve in enhancing the business and investment environment in ASEAN.

16. We welcomed the success of the ASEAN-ROK CEO Summit and ASEAN-ROK Innovation Showcase held on the margins of the Commemorative Summit, and looked forward to strengthening partnerships between ASEAN and the ROK in the fields of innovative industries such as smart agriculture, future environment and energy, future mobility and smart life as well as robotics and automation, bioeconomy, smart electronics and appliances, next generation automobile by sharing of best practices and experiences to better respond to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). In this end, we appreciated that a joint feasibility study to establish ‘ASEAN-Korea Standardization Joint Research Center’ will be conducted and that a joint working group for developing the plan to establish ‘ASEAN-Korea Industrial Innovation Center’ has been proposed.

17. We welcomed the science and technology (S&T) cooperation between ASEAN and the ROK, including the introduction of the ASEAN-ROK Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Training Program, an ASEAN-ROK Award for Excellence in Science, Technology and Innovation that recognizes young scientists and engineers from ASEAN, who have demonstrated excellence in scientific research. We also appreciated the ROK’s plan to establish the ASEAN-ROK Science and Technology Cooperation Center that would encourage better utilization of science and technology for economic growth.

18. We acknowledged the ROK’s commitment to support the successful implementation of the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2020 (AIM 2020) with emerging technologies such as 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI), in order to enhance ASEAN’s response to the digital transformation. We also welcomed the convening of Korea-ASEAN Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Forum on 21 November 2019 in Busan. We also took note of the ROK’s plan to establish ASEAN-ROK ICT Convergence Village in Busan for cooperating in the field of digital contents based on 5G technology.

19. We encouraged innovation and creativity among ASEAN MSMEs to help them create new business opportunities in the era of the 4IR. We acknowledged that open innovation and development of sustainable startup ecosystem play a crucial role in creating jobs, promoting investment and developing new growth engine. In this end, we welcomed the establishment of “ASEAN-ROK Startups Partnership” to promote open innovation and develop the startup ecosystem between ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME) and the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) of the ROK. In this partnership, the ACCMSME and MSS forms “ACCMSME-MSS Policy Dialogue” to create a vibrant startup ecosystem in the region, reporting to the AEM-ROK consultation mechanism. We also noted with satisfaction the success of the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit held on 26 November 2019 in Busan.

20. We also acknowledged the ROK’s development assistance through the Technology Advice and Solutions from Korea (TASK), especially in sharing best practices on technology related to agricultural machinery and food processing, as well as capacity- building for the MSMEs.

21. We appreciated the ROK’s contribution to the successfully concluded Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP) 2018-2019 to strengthen the IP Infrastructure in ASEAN in the areas of patent examination, IP education and IP commercialization. In this regard, we welcomed the success of the ASEAN-ROK Heads of IP Offices Meeting held on 25 November 2019. We looked forward to continued collaboration between ASEAN and the ROK on the IP education as well as continued dialogue and exchange of information on IP policies and regulations.

22. We reiterated our commitment to work together on the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) and welcomed the ROK’s support in ASEAN-ROK Smart Cities cooperation in enhancing development and infrastructure projects in ASEAN. In this regard, we welcomed the convening of the ASEAN-ROK Ministerial Meeting on Smart City on 25 November 2019, in Busan which will complement and foster our cooperation in smart and sustainable urban development.

23. We acknowledged the commitment of the ASEAN and ROK Transport Ministers to further enhance air transport connectivity between and beyond ASEAN and the ROK, and welcomed the negotiations between both sides towards a more liberal and mutually beneficial ASEAN-ROK Air Services Agreement (AK-ASA) that will encourage more people-to-people exchanges and promote connectivity linkages in the region. We further welcomed the ROK’s contribution in the ASEAN-ROK Port Development Cooperation by transferring knowledge and skills on policies and technologies of port development and operation to ASEAN port experts.

24. We acknowledged the importance of enhancing cooperation in the area of finance, and welcomed the ROK’s plan to establish the Financial Cooperation Center within the ROK Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta.

Socio-Cultural Cooperation

25. We welcomed the ROK’s commitment to increase two-way people-to-people exchanges to 15 million by 2020. In particular, we appreciated the ROK’s initiative to facilitate more people exchanges through improving the Visa System for ASEAN Member States, enhancing mutual understanding, and exploring Working Holiday Agreements with each of ASEAN Member States in the future.

26. We reaffirmed the importance of people-to-people contacts and linkages involving youth, media, academics and think-tanks. Acknowledging that ASEAN and the ROK have continued youth exchanges, we looked forward to strengthening cooperation in the field of youth. We noted that the First ASEAN Youth Dialogue to be convened under the 9th ASEAN-Korea Frontier Forum can strengthen the engagement of ASEAN-ROK youth in addressing the challenges as well as reaping the benefits and opportunities presented by the 4IR. We also welcomed the ASEAN-ROK Think-Tank Strategic Dialogue as a new track-II level institutional mechanism of mutual exchanges and communication between ASEAN and the ROK.

27. We also appreciated the ROK’s support in the implementation of MPAC 2025 initiatives through the ASEAN-ROK Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Mobility Program which aims to identify ASEAN TVET priority sectors and programs, capacity building for students, teachers, faculty, trainees and policy makers.

28. We welcomed the expansion of student and faculty exchanges and the promotion of research collaboration in higher education by expanding ROK-ASEAN Scholarship programs and by cooperating in the field of e-learning with the use of ICT. We also looked forward to strengthening cooperation in promoting Korean language as a second foreign language in ASEAN countries to advance mutual understanding and lay the foundation for future cooperation.

29. We appreciated the success of the 2019 Special ASEAN Plus ROK Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) Meeting held on 24 October 2019 in Gwangju, the ROK, and noted with satisfaction the meeting’s Joint Media Statement which reflects the shared vision of ASEAN-ROK cooperation in culture. We also welcomed the success of the ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit held on 25 November 2019 in Busan, as a creative platform sharing best practice and vision to promote cultural cooperation and common prosperity.

30. We appreciated the ROK’s proposal to enhance cooperation in film industry, and noted the substantial progress of the discussions on promoting cooperation in film development and organizations between ASEAN and the ROK. We took note of the outcomes of the Roundtable meetings in Bangkok, Cebu, and Busan in 2019, and encouraged further consultations to sustain the partnership to develop the film industry.

31. We acknowledged the important role of the ROK in joining ASEAN Member States to promote ASEAN identity through various modalities of cooperation. We appreciated the efforts of the AKC and the ASEAN Culture House (ACH) in Busan to promote understanding of ASEAN culture in the ROK. We also welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the ASEAN Cultural Center in Bangkok and the ACH to promote cooperation between the two centers in facilitating mutual understanding and cultural exchanges between ASEAN and the ROK. We also noted the cultural events held in the ROK including the ASEAN Cultural Troupe: Oneness to the World through the joint efforts of the ASEAN Cultural Center and the ASEAN Culture House as part of the celebration of the ASEAN Cultural Year 2019 and the 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit. We appreciated the development of Digital Heritage Contents of ASEAN that will contribute to the preservation and promotion of heritage sites in ASEAN. We also underlined the significance of promoting cooperative projects and events in sports, particularly among our youth, to develop sports integrity and enhance its role in fostering development, cross cultural understanding, tolerance and the promotion of inclusivity.

32. We reaffirmed our strong commitment to strengthen cooperation in environment, sustainable marine economic development, and human health by supporting existing efforts to combat plastic pollution and reduce marine plastic debris, through the implementation of the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region and the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris, including by exploring the possible development of a regional plan of action and guidelines on combating marine plastic debris, and promoting efforts to support the development of national actions to prevent, reduce, and manage marine plastic debris. In this regard, we further welcomed cooperative activities that aim to strengthen capacity-building and technical support for ASEAN Member States to respond to climate change including Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS), Carbon Pricing cooperation and renewable energy. In this regard, we looked forward to exploring the possibility of the ASEAN-ROK Carbon Dialogue to be convened from 2020 through appropriate platforms.

33. We further welcomed the ROK’s commitment to support collaboration in disaster management, such as providing training to officials in the field of disaster management and supporting the implementation of standardisation and certification framework of disaster management profession in the region. We also noted with appreciation the signing of Memorandum of Intent between ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) and the National Fire Agency of the Republic of Korea, with the purpose of strengthening cooperation and seeking areas for further collaboration in the field of disaster management.

34. We looked forward to strengthening efforts on universal health coverage under the common understanding that health is an investment to achieve sustainable social and economic development. To that end, we noted with appreciation the ROK’s efforts to build a dialogue channel with ASEAN, and we would further promote public health of ASEAN Member States by expanding cooperation in health technology sharing, capacity building for health workforce, and healthcare system. We also acknowledged the on-going threat of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs), and the need to strengthen cooperation and share information on EIDs prevention and control and pandemic preparedness.

35. We looked forward to the ASEAN-ROK capacity building project that aims to share technologies and expertise to help enhance ASEAN’s capacity in forestry. In addition, we acknowledged that ongoing projects and activities being implemented under the ASEAN-ROK Forest Cooperation (AFoCo) Agreement would further strengthen cooperation in promoting sustainable forest management, and welcomed the establishment of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO), which aims to strengthen regional forest cooperation and mitigate the impact of climate change. In that regard, we welcomed the proposal to establish an ASEAN-Korea Garden as a symbol of friendship and long-standing relationship between ASEAN and the ROK.

36. We noted with satisfaction the fruitful outcome of the ASEAN-ROK High Level Meeting on Forestry 2019 held on 31 October 2019 in Seoul, and welcomed the Declaration on Forest Cooperation for Peace and Prosperity. We also expressed support for the ROK’s Peace Forest Initiative that aims to strengthen collective forest management at border areas and acknowledged these activities could contribute to fostering more peaceful cooperation.

37. We also welcomed the ROK’s commitment towards the Official Development Assistance (ODA) by announcing plans to double the grant aid to ASEAN countries by 2022, with the aim to share its experience and knowledge with ASEAN in a cooperative manner through the ROK’s New Southern ODA Strategy. In this regard, we appreciated the flagship ODA programs of the ROK such as Digital Partnership for Inclusive Development, Korea-Mekong Future Peace Community to improve the region’s connectivity and to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

38. We appreciated that the ROK’s contribution to the ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Fund (AKCF) was doubled in 2019 to support more joint programs and projects, as part of the ROK’s New Southern Policy. We noted with satisfaction the work of the ASEAN-ROK Program Management Team (AKPMT) in facilitating the implementation of the AKCF-supported projects. We encouraged more project and program proposals in the priority cooperation areas of education, environment, and culture under the New Framework for AKCF 2017-2020.

39. We looked forward to working closely to share national policies and promote cooperation between ASEAN and ROK to ensure that marriage immigrants, multicultural families and others can integrate into their country of residence.

40. We are committed to strengthening efforts to enhance cooperation between ASEAN and the ROK to promote gender equality and build gender-responsive policy capacity through knowledge sharing and interpersonal exchange.

Regional Issues

41. We welcomed the positive developments on the Korean Peninsula brought about by the inter-Korean Summits and the U.S.-DPRK Summits, through the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration signed between ROK President Moon Jae-in and Chairman of the DPRK Kim Jong Un, as well as the Joint Statement signed between U.S. President Donald J. Trump and DPRK Chairman Kim Jong Un. Recognizing the importance of sustainable dialogue between the parties concerned to resolve their differences, we welcomed the resumption of the U.S.-DPRK working level negotiations held in Stockholm on 5 October 2019, with the hope that the next round will follow soon. We also urged the DPRK to refrain from further missile tests. We reiterated the importance of international efforts to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, the fulfillment of relevant UN Security Council obligations by all UN Members, and the establishment of lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. We underscored the importance of ASEAN-led platforms such as the ARF in promoting a conducive atmosphere to peaceful dialogue amongst the parties concerned.

42. President Moon emphasised his firm commitment to three principles in the course of resolving issues related to the Korean Peninsula: zero tolerance for war, mutual security guarantees and co-prosperity. He also outlined his vision to transform the Demilitarized Zone of the Korean Peninsula into an international peace zone, as first introduced in his address to the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The ASEAN Leaders stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all concerned parties in order to realize lasting peace and stability in a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and, in this context, welcomed President Moon’s commitment and vision with a view to establishing lasting peace and stability on a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

43. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, underscored the importance of full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and were encouraged by the progress made in the negotiations of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC). We reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. We also emphasized the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states.
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