SEOUL, 22 October 2013 –The ASEAN-Korea Centre hosted the “2013 ASEAN Connectivity Forum” at the Seoul Plaza Hotel on 21-22 October to discuss ways to enhance ASEAN Connectivity and for Korea to contribute towards infrastructure development in ASEAN. The forum, organized in cooperation with the International Contractors Association of Korea, focused on physical connectivity which is related mainly to financing, construction and operations of infrastructure.
The forum is in line with strengthening ASEAN connectivity which is an important agenda not only for ASEAN but also for its Dialogue Partners including Korea. Twenty five (25) delegates from ASEAN, including government officials in charge of connectivity projects, ASEAN Secretariat and Asian Development Bank (ADB) and around 100 Korean participants from related companies and organizations attended the forum.
The forum provided an avenue for discussions on topics such as the current status and challenges of implementing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) and Public Private Partnership (PPP) utilisation. Focused group discussions were convened to discuss the concrete infrastructure/construction plans and major projects of each ASEAN Member State. In addition, one-on-one business meeting sessions between ASEAN delegates and Korean constructors/businesses were conducted to establish networks with ASEAN government officials and seek new business opportunities.
The Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity envisions a well-connected ASEAN that brings the peoples, goods, services and capital closer together. Adopted at the 17th ASEAN Summit in 2010, the Master Plan has made continuous progress to enhance physical connectivity, institutional connectivity and people-to-people connectivity. Physical connectivity constitutes mainly transportation, energy and ICT matters, and the Centre’s forum focused on infrastructure facilities such as roads, rail, maritime facilities, inland waterways, air linkages and so on. In particular, the Master Plan prioritized a number of initiatives for implementation such as the completion of the ASEAN Highway Network (AHN) missing links, the completion of Singapore-Kunming Rail Link (SKRL) missing links and the establishment of Roll-On/Roll-Off network which are expected to enhance intra-regional trade, investment and people-to-people exchange once completed.