The meeting was co-chaired by Permanent Representative of Vietnam Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang, and Ambassador of the RoK to ASEAN Lee Jang-keun. It was the last JCC meeting co-chaired by Vietnam in its role as the coordinator for ASEAN-RoK relations in the 2021-2024 period.

An overview of the meeting (Photo: AKJCC)

The meeting took note of the good progress made in ASEAN-RoK cooperation over the past one year, including through follow up to the outcomes of the 24th ASEAN-RoK Summit and activities to implement various areas of cooperation under the ASEAN-RoK Plan of Action (2021-2025).

The meeting welcomed the RoK’s continued support for ASEAN Centrality, ASEAN Community building efforts as well as the RoK’s strong commitment to substantially strengthening ASEAN-RoK cooperation, as reflected in various initiatives of the Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI).

Both sides welcomed the celebration of the 35th Anniversary of ASEAN-RoK Dialogue Relations this year. The meeting welcomed the RoK’s proposal for an ASEAN-RoK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) and looked forward to the establishment of the CSP at the 25th ASEAN-RoK Summit in conjunction with the 35th Anniversary.

The meeting highlighted the importance of the implementation of the ASEAN-RoK Joint Statement on Cooperation on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) adopted at the 24th ASEAN-RoK Summit last year. Both sides agreed to continue strengthen practical cooperation in the four priority areas under the AOIP, including maritime cooperation, connectivity, and sustainable development goals. The RoK confirmed its strong support to Laos’s ASEAN Chairmanship this year, particularly in the implementation of the Chair’s priorities under the theme of Enhancing Connectivity and Enhancing Resilience.

In addition, both sides also agreed to continue advancing cooperation in various areas, including trade and investment; digital innovation; cyber security; clean energy; sustainable development; TVET; education; disaster management; environment and climate change; smart city; connectivity; culture and people-to-people exchanges and capacity building.

Both sides commended the contribution of the ASEAN-Korea Centre in Seoul and the ASEAN Culture House in Busan in promoting mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between ASEAN and the RoK in trade, investment, tourism, culture and people-to-people exchanges and encouraged programs and activities to be conducted in light of the 35th Anniversary.

Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang and his ASEAN colleagues welcomed new proposals and initiatives of the RoK to strengthen bilateral cooperation, especially upcoming lighthouse projects. The ambassadors commented that the RoK’s focus on hot issues such as environmental pollution, marine waste, or new issues like big data and AI are very meaningful in supporting ASEAN to develop and realize its Vision 2045.

At the meeting, representatives of the ASEAN-Korea Centre in Seoul and the ASEAN-Korea Cultural House in Busan introduced their typical activities in 2023 and planned activities for this year.

Source: VNA