Published on 20th January 2020.

Special Update on the 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Commemorative Summit

The ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Commemorative Summit was held in Busan on 26 November 2019 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Relations. 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.

Key Outcomes of the Co-Chairs Statement of the 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit “Partnership for Peace, Prosperity for People”

Below are the prioritised outcomes related to the economic cooperation component in the Co-Chairs’ Statement of the 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.

1. Key Deliverables

    • The ROK’s commitment under the New Southern Policy to further strengthen relations with ASEAN in line with the three pillars of the ASEAN Community.
    • Ongoing progress was made in the implementation of the ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action 2016-2020. ASEAN and the ROK renewed their commitment to work towards a strategic vision of ASEAN-ROK relations, and forge closer cooperation through the new ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action for 2021-2025 which is expected to be adopted in 2020.
    • ASEAN and the ROK reiterated their support for the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue as well as the ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation launched in Thailand.
    • ASEAN took note of the ROK’s contribution towards ASEAN’s development and community building efforts through the realisation of the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together, as well as the implementation of the IAI Work Plan III and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC 2025).
    • ASEAN expressed appreciation for the continued support from the ROK towards the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, which was adopted during the 34th ASEAN Summit.
  • ASEAN and the ROK reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation through 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).

2. Economic Cooperation

    • Overview of the economic relationship between the ROK and ASEAN:
    • Further liberalisation of products in the Sensitive Track (ST) List under the ASEAN-Korea Trade in Goods Agreement.
    • Commitment for full ratification and implementation of the Third Protocol to Amend the ASEAN-Korea Trade in Goods Agreement (AKTIGA) by all parties.
    • ASEAN and the ROK to work together on outstanding issues related to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with a view to signing the agreement in 2020.
  • ASEAN and the ROK took note of the work of the ASEAN-Korean Business Council (AKBC) and the ASEAN-Korea Centre (AKC) in facilitating trade and investment flows between both regions:
    • Collaboration between the AKBC, AKC and relevant ASEAN bodies to help transform ASEAN into a digital-driven economy and to prepare its workforce for the newest technological developments including 5G technology, Artificial Intelligence, Banking & Finance, and e-Commerce.
    • 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.
  • A joint feasibility study to establish ‘ASEAN-Korea Standardisation Joint Research Center‘ to be conducted.
  • ASEAN and the ROK took note of the proposal to establish a joint working group to plan the ASEAN-Korea Industrial Innovation Center.
  • ASEAN noted the ROK’s plan to establish an ASEAN-ROK Science and Technology Cooperation Center to encourage better utilisation of science and technology for economic growth.
  • The ROK is committed 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.
  • The ASEAN-ROK ICT Convergence Village in Busan to be established by the ROK to facilitate cooperation in the field of digital contents based on 5G technology.
  • The establishment of the”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.
    • Both the ACCMSME and the MSS formed the “ACCMSME-MSS Policy Dialogue” to facilitate a startup ecosystem in the region, which is to report to the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM)-ROK consultation mechanism.
    • ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit held on 26 November 2019 in Busan.
  • Developmental assistance provided by the ROK through the Technology Advice and Solutions from Korea (TASK), particularly in the sharing of best practises in the technology related to agricultural machinery and food processing, as well as capacity building for the MSMEs was noted.
  • The ROK contributed towards the concluded Knowledge Sharing Programme (KSP) 2018-2019 to strengthen IP infrastructure in ASEAN in the areas of patent examination, IP education, and IP commercialisation.
  • The completion of the ASEAN-ROK Heads of IP Offices Meeting was held on 25 November 2019.
  • The ROK support towards the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) in enhancing development and infrastructure projects in ASEAN:
    • Convening of the ASEAN-ROK Ministerial Meeting on Smart City on 25 November 2019 in Busan.
  • 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.
  • Contribution by the ROK towards the ASEAN-ROK Port Development Cooperation by transferring knowledge and skills on policies and technologies of port development and operation to ASEAN port experts.
  • The establishment of the Financial Cooperation Center within the ROK Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta by the ROK to enhance cooperation in the area of finance.

B. Key Outcomes of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Joint Vision Statement for Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership

Below are the prioritised outcomes related to the economic and connectivity pillars of the ASEAN Community based on the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Joint Vision Statement for Peace, Prosperity and Partnership released as part of the summit.

1. Together Towards Prosperity – Enhancing an Economic Partnership

  • ASEAN and ROK reiterated their commitment to support enhancement of trade and investment and to resist all forms of protectionism, improve regional development and prosperity, and continuing to cooperate to narrow the regional development gap.
  • The redoubling of efforts to advance economic cooperation between ASEAN and the ROK through the facilitation of trade and regulatory changes in terms of:
    • Trade and investment;
    • Connectivity;
    • Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs);
    • Start-ups partnerships and innovation.
  • The promotion of cooperation in preparation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by equipping people in the region with the skills and knowledge in:
    • E-commerce;
    • Cybersecurity;
    • Digital technology;
    • Innovation;
    • ICT infrastructure.
  • The promotion of partnerships of MSMEs and start-ups between ASEAN and the ROK through human resources development and the sharing of best practices, to enhance the capacity of MSMEs, and promote the importance of innovation among them.

2. Enhancing Connectivity Together

  • The strengthening efforts to enhance ASEAN connectivity and narrow the development gaps among ASEAN Member States through effective implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III and its successor documents and other sub-regional economic cooperation frameworks.
    • The intensification of technical and financial support in the areas of:
    • Sustainable infrastructure
    • Digital innovation;
    • Seamless logistics;
    • Regulatory excellence;
    • People mobility such as road, rail, air, sea, and digital linkages within ASEAN.
  • The enhancement of air transport connectivity between and beyond ASEAN and the ROK and the strengthening of efforts to conclude a more liberal and mutually beneficial ASEAN-ROK Air Services Agreement.
  • The enhancement of people-to-people connectivity through the strengthening of:
    • Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes and related initiatives;
    • Scholarships and fellowships;
    • Educational exchanges for ASEAN people.

3. Together for Sustainability and Environmental Cooperation

  • The enhancement of complementarities between the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together vision and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the promotion of:
    • Green development;
    • Circular economy;
    • Sustainable consumption and production
  • To address the challenges of climate change through the implementation of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • The strengthening of cooperation in the sustainable management of:
    • Natural resources;
    • Biodiversity conservation
    • Enhancement of disaster risk reduction and disaster management for natural hazards;
    • Implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures
  • To address issues and challenges arising from rapid urbanisation and to pursue cooperation in sustainable urbanisation and smart cities, including through the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN)
  • The enhancement of cooperation in sustainable infrastructure including:
    • Green infrastructure;
    • Transportation;
    • Energy;
    • Water resources management;
    • ICT infrastructure development;
    • Agriculture and food security.