SEOUL, July 2 (Bernama): South Korea affirmed the importance it attaches to relations with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) during the 26th Asean-South Korea dialogue in Seoul on Friday (July 1).
South Korea’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yeo Seung Bae and acting Head of Asean SOM Vietnam, Ambassador Vu Ho, co-chaired the event, the first in-person dialogue between Asean and a partner after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reported Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
South Korea said it backed Asean’s centrality and pledged to coordinate with the bloc in implementing the Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific through practical cooperation programmes and activities.
The country spoke highly of Asean’s contributions to peace, cooperation and prosperity in the region over the past years, saying with two-way trade revenue of US$176 billion in 2021, South Korea remained the fourth largest trade partner of the 10-member group.
In his remarks, Ho emphasised that the South Korea is a strategic partner of Asean and the country has made significant contributions to the building of the Asean Community across pillars.
He highlighted the South Korea’s contribution of more than US$137 million to the Asean-South Korea Cooperation Fund as well as the country’s support to the bloc during the pandemic over the past two years.
The ambassador suggested the two sides increase cooperation activities towards people, especially in response and recovery efforts, and work to ensure inclusive growth, and harmonious and sustainable development.
Asean and the RoK should foster partnerships in education-training and high-quality personnel development, he said, adding that a seminar on post-pandemic workforce should be organised soon.
He also urged the two sides restore, promote and diversify cooperation in such spheres as culture, communications, education, arts, sports, tourism and people-to-people exchange, and proposed organising Korean Day in Asean.
The 27th Asean-South Korea Dialogue is scheduled to be held in Vietnam in 2023. - Bernama