The round-table presented the findings of the 2022 Survey on Mutual Perceptions of ASEAN and Korean Youths conducted through focus group interviews (FGIs), which is a follow-up survey to the first quantitative research done in 2021.

Speakers from the media, academia, government organizations, and youths participated in the round-table discussions to exchange views on the current perceptions of youths on ASEAN and the RoK, as well as share ideas for shaping balanced and equal mutual perceptions and awareness among the youths of the two regions.

Delegates at the round-table in a group photo

As the important role of youth has been emphasized for building a sustainable and mutually beneficial partnership between ASEAN and the RoK, there is also a growing recognition on the need to build balanced mutual perceptions among the youths.

As such, the ASEAN - Korea Center implemented two survey projects (2021-2022) to identify the current status of mutual perceptions between ASEAN and Korean youths and to suggest ways for improving perceptions.

The 2022 qualitative survey was implemented through FGIs with 147 youths of ASEAN and the RoK, and was designed as a follow-up to the initial key findings from the 2021 quantitative survey.

Three main areas were covered in the FGIs, specifically on the perceptions of ASEAN and the RoK, youths exchanges between ASEAN and the RoK, and ASEAN - RoK cooperative relations.

Results from the 2022 survey identified that ASEAN and Korean youths showed differences in their mutual perceptions for one another, and that such differences stem from the imbalance in frequency and scope of exposure to information and content about one another.

Meanwhile, youths of both ASEAN and the RoK also regarded each other as trustworthy partners based on the recognition of abundant opportunities for economic cooperation as well as less political interests. However, despite such trust, youths still did not perceive each other as equal partners and thus may not prioritize cooperation with each other. This is due to their perceptions of different needs caused by differences in economic development and the lack of accurate recognition of each other´s values.

To bridge such gaps, the survey publication highlighted some potential policy recommendations minimizing the asymmetry, providing quality contents that promote accurate perceptions and the promotion of collaborations and cooperation among relevant organizations, as well as increasing youth exchange programs.

Source: VNA