JAKARTA, 31 March 2017 – ASEAN and the Republic of Korea (ROK) reaffirmed their commitment to forge closer cooperation at an important meeting that serves as a key mechanism to review ASEAN-ROK cooperation and discuss future direction.

At the 4th Meeting of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) held yesterday in Jakarta, both sides noted the good momentum to strengthen relations since the Commemorative Summit on the 25th Anniversary of Dialogue Relations in 2014. They agreed to work closely to ensure the effective implementation of measures and action lines under the ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action 2016-2020 which is the framework to advance cooperation in the next five years.

The ROK remains the fifth largest trading partner of ASEAN and the two sides are intensifying efforts to reach two-way trade target of USD 200 billion by 2020, including through liberalising more products under the ASEAN-ROK Free Trade Area and enabling greater role and contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises. Good progress has also been made in areas such as climate change, disaster management, agriculture and food security.

People-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation are also important areas with 2017 being designated as the ASEAN-ROK Cultural Exchange Year. Various activities will be conducted in ASEAN Member States and the ROK this year including the launch of the ASEAN Culture House in Busan in September 2017 which is expected to promote ASEAN cultures in the ROK.

ASEAN Member States acknowledged ROK’s continued contribution to ASEAN integration and the ASEAN Community building which includes programmes and projects designed to help narrow the development gaps and enhance connectivity. Both sides are working to enhance utilisation of the ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Fund to support development cooperation projects, particularly in areas such as education, environment and culture. The meeting also welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN – ROK Development Cooperation Programme Management Team to facilitate swift and efficient implementation of projects under the Fund.

Both sides exchanged views on recent developments in their respective regions, including the South China Sea and Korean Peninsula, and reaffirmed the importance of maintaining regional peace, stability and security.

The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E Norng Sakal, Permanent Representative of Cambodia to ASEAN and H.E. Suh Jeong-in, Ambassador of the ROK to ASEAN, and attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States and representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat.