SEOUL — South Korea's presidential advisory panel hosted an international forum here on Thursday on the country's push for stronger ties with Southeast Asian nations.
Held under the theme of "ASEAN and Korea: Partnership for Prosperity," it came ahead of a major summit between the two sides to take place in Busan later this month.
"South Korea hopes to become a partner with ASEAN nations for a deeper level of co-operation in various fields," Lee Jay-min, vice chairman of the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC), said in his opening speech.
That's a reason why the South Korean government has adopted the New Southern Policy as one of its top priority policies, he added.
Two years earlier, President Moon Jae-in announced the core diplomatic initiative aimed at upgrading Seoul's partnerships with ASEAN to the level of those with four major regional powers: the United States, China, Japan and Russia.
Moon plans to hold a two-day "commemorative summit" with his counterparts from the 10 ASEAN members in the southern port city of Busan from November 25. It is to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral dialogue relations. The group summit will be followed by the first Mekong-Republic of Korea summit there on November 27.
Lee stressed the significance of South Korea-ASEAN co-operation amid the transformation of the global economic order.
Country-to-country economic co-operation has been weakening, with trade fights spreading, and the International Monetary Fund recently raised the problem of "synchronised global slowdown," he pointed out.
Desperately needed, above all, is the beefing up of international co-operation, which is a reason for closer co-operation between South Korea and ASEAN, he added.
The conference, organised by the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), has brought together eminent experts from ASEAN countries and South Korea.
It consists of three sub-sessions titled "Global Value Chain: Prospects and Opportunities for ASEAN and Korea," "Innovation Policy for Co-prosperity of ASEAN and Korea" and "ASEAN-Korea Co-operation in Macroeconomic and Financial Policies". — YONHAP