PHNOM PENH, March 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday vowed efforts to further improve his country's relationship with Cambodia and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries, insisting that increased cooperation will also lead to more opportunities for South Korean businesses and people.
"When the cooperation and exchange between the two countries are strengthened, the door to more opportunities will open to our companies and residents here," the president said in a meeting with some 100 South Korean residents in Cambodia.
The South Korean president arrived here earlier in the day on a three-day state visit. He was set to hold a bilateral summit with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday, following their meeting over a social dinner later Thursday.
Moon highlighted the history and expansion of the South Korean community in Cambodia, noting the number of South Korean residents here has reached over 15,000 from around 100 in 1996.
"The sweat you shared with the people of Cambodia is further reinforcing the friendship between the two countries. It is the driving force behind the efforts to start a future of joint prosperity. As president, I offer my special thanks," he told the meeting.
The president said he will discuss ways to further boost the countries' cooperation in his summit with the Cambodian leader.
"I will do my utmost to make sure the first state visit in 10 years will lead to an upgrade in the cooperation between the two countries and improvements in the livelihood of our people and companies here," said Moon.
He noted his visit to the region also sought to improve South Korea's relations with the 10-member ASEAN.
"This year is a meaningful year when we mark the 30th anniversary of establishing South Korea-ASEAN dialogue relations," the president said, adding that he is set to host a special South Korea-ASEAN summit later in the year to celebrate the 30th anniversary and further improve their relations.
Moon is currently on a three-nation trip that earlier took him to Brunei and Malaysia, both members of ASEAN.
"I ask you to lend your support so the future generations of our country and overseas communities may realize their dreams in the history of coexistence and joint development with ASEAN," he said.
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