BALI, 1 June 2015 – Senior Officials of ASEAN and the Republic of Korea (ROK) reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN-ROK Strategic Partnership and agreed to enhance cooperation and further strengthen the relationship. These were the key outcomes of the 19th ASEAN-ROK Dialogue held on 29 May in Bali, Indonesia. The Senior Officials also discussed regional and international issues of common interest and concern and agreed to work together to promote peace and stability.
Both sides acknowledged the strong momentum of relations particularly since the Special Leaders’ Summit held in Seoul in December 2014 to commemorate the 25thAnniversary of ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Partnership. ASEAN is ROK’s second largest trading partner and both sides committed to increase the two-way trade volume to reach USD200 billion by 2020 fromUSD131 billion in 2014.In addition to the ASEAN-Korea Centre which was established in Seoul in 2009, the ROK intends to establish an ASEAN Culture House in Busan which would serve to boost bilateral cultural cooperation and people-to-people contact. The plan is to complete the Culture House by 2017 to coincide with ASEAN’s 50thAnniversary.
Substantive progress has been made in cooperation projects under the current Plan of Action (2011-2015) in areas such as food, agriculture and forestry, infrastructure development, science and technology, health and assisting ASEAN narrow the development gap. A new Plan of Action is being developed for the period 2016-2020 which will provide a comprehensive framework and practical measures to further strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation. The next Plan will facilitate and contribute to the next phase of ASEAN’s Community-building beyond 2015. The new Plan will place priority on programmes that will have region-wide impacts such as development cooperation, narrowing development gap and enhancing regional connectivity.
The Meeting had a candid exchange of views on matters related to regional peace and security. The dialogue on security-related issues was wide-ranging and extensive. Both sides shared their perspectives on the changing geopolitical landscape and recent developments in the Southeast and Northeast Asia regions noting that instability in either could have implications for the wider East Asian region. Both sides emphasized the importance of ensuring peace and stability in the South China Sea, including the maintenance of maritime security, freedom of navigation and freedom of over-flight which is a vital regional interest. ASEAN reaffirmed its support for efforts toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and sustainable peace and stability in Northeast Asia. ASEAN and the ROK also agreed to strengthen cooperation to jointly address emerging non-traditional security challenges such as transnational crimes including international terrorism and violent extremism, climate change and disaster management.
The ROK is committed to work together with ASEAN in the ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus and East Asia Summit to promote regional peace and prosperity and shape the future regional architecture. The ROK reaffirmed its support for ASEAN’s central role in these regional frameworks. ASEAN acknowledged the active role and contribution of the ROK in promoting East Asian integration.