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[ASEAN-Korea summit] Korea, ASEAN join hands for growth of startups

BUSAN -- Leaders of South Korea and ASEAN countries have joined hands to foster the growth of startups at an event held Tuesday on the sidelines of the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit.

Hosted by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit took place in Busan to enhance cooperation among startups of Korea and ASEAN. The event was attended by representatives from 40 ASEAN startups participating in a Korean incubation program.


President Moon Jae-in speaks during the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit at Bexco in Busan on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in speaks during the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit at Bexco in Busan on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in said in a speech, “Korea will accompany the ASEAN startups,” introducing success stories of startups in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Cambodia.

He cited the Philippines’ Revolution Precrafted, which developed innovative “modular housing,” Indonesia’s shared vehicle service Gojek and Singapore’s transportation network company Grab.

Moon added, “Startup policies require cross-country cooperation. A ministerial meeting for startups between Korea and ASEAN nations will be organized to support the cooperation.”

Following his remarks, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha took the stage with a speech on the importance of Korea-ASEAN cooperation for the globalization of startups.

The startup summit was attended by leaders of 10 ASEAN countries and around 300 participants, including Southeast Asia’s promising startups, global investors, accelerators and government officials.

During the event, the participants watched a mixed-reality performance themed around the “win-win and prosperity of ASEAN and South Korea” by strengthening the startup ecosystem. The show combined colorful images, holograms and dancers. 


President Moon Jae-in (sixth from right) and ASEAN leaders celebrate the start of the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit at Bexco in Busan on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in (sixth from right) and ASEAN leaders celebrate the start of the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit at Bexco in Busan on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Following the summit, the Startup Ministry will hold the global startup festival “K-Startup Week ComeUp 2019” on Thursday at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul.

The event will be joined by startup officials from 20 countries, including the US, the UK, Finland, Sweden and France. It will also feature speakers from Google, Oracle, BMW, Alibaba Cloud and Hyundai.

The event will provide investment consulting and funding opportunities, matching 500 startups with around 200 venture capital firms, including Israel’s Yozma, Korea’s Kakao Ventures, FuturePlay and MashUp Angels.

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups plans to continue supporting startup cooperation with ASEAN countries and to build “ASEAN Startup Partnership.”

“Korea and ASEAN will promote the globalization of startups through exchanges and cooperation of the regions,” said Startup and SMEs Minister Park Young-sun during a press briefing.

“More unicorn companies are expected to emerge in Korea and ASEAN through the partnerships,” she said. 

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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