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(LEAD) Moon eyes 'people-centered inclusive' ties between ASEAN, S. Korea

All News 11:29 November 25, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with Moon's speech; CHANGES headline; ADDS photo)

BUSAN, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in presented a three-point vision Monday for partnerships between his country and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), attending the CEO Summit here held on the sidelines of their special summit to mark the 30th anniversary of dialogue relations.

Moon stressed the importance of expanding people-to-people exchanges for "people-centered inclusive cooperation" as he delivered a keynote speech at the session attended by around 500 businessmen and government officials from South Korea and ASEAN members.

"Secondly, win-win prosperity and innovative growth" is necessary in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, he added.

President Moon Jae-in delivers a keynote speech at the ASEAN-Republic of Korea CEO Summit held at the BEXCO convention center in Busan on Nov. 25, 2019. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in delivers a keynote speech at the ASEAN-Republic of Korea CEO Summit held at the BEXCO convention center in Busan on Nov. 25, 2019. (Yonhap)

He pointed out that the New Southern Policy Business Cooperation Center to be set up next year will serve as a cornerstone for promoting South Korean firms' launch of businesses in ASEAN countries and enhancing the competitiveness of ASEAN companies.

What's also important is strengthening connectivity in order to take bilateral economic relations to the next level, according to the president.

He reaffirmed South Korea's commitment to supporting the construction of infrastructure in ASEAN on the basis of its strengths in the transportation, energy and smart city fields.

The opening ceremony for the CEO Summit was joined by several other ASEAN leaders including Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

Senior-level officials from major South Korean conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai, SK and LG were also present at the event, along with representatives from various Southeast Asian firms such as Myanmar's Htoo Group and Cambodia's Royal Group.

Participants highlighted that ASEAN, which boasts a population of 650 million and rich natural resources, will emerge as the top economic bloc in the future.

Meanwhile, South Korea's trade ministry said it will spare no efforts to help local firms expand ties and cooperation with their counterparts in Southeast Asian nations as part of efforts to tap deeper into the region with high growth potential.

"The role of the business community is crucial in order for South Korea to join deeper economic ties with ASEAN member states," Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo said.

ASEAN is South Korea's second-largest trading partner and third-largest investment destination, and South Korea is the fifth-largest trading partner for ASEAN.

Two-way trade volume reached US$160 billion, with mutual investment totaling $10 billion, last year.

ASEAN has attracted keen global attention for its huge growth potential, boasting the world's third-largest population of 650 million, a young and dynamic demographic with a median age of 29, abundant natural resources and a high annual growth rate of 5 percent.

The ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit will be held through Tuesday in this southern port city of Busan, which Seoul views as another milestone in boosting the bilateral partnership amid its signature New Southern Policy.



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