The Mission of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to ASEAN was officially inaugurated today in Jakarta.

The Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, said that the opening of the Mission and the recent appointment of a resident ROK Ambassador to ASEAN in Jakarta demonstrated the strong commitment of the ROK to its relations with ASEAN.

The establishment of the Mission would contribute to the strengthening of cooperation and coordination between ASEAN and the ROK as well as to facilitate the effective implementation of cooperation activities.

The ceremony was attended by H.E. Kim Kyou-hyun, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the ROK, H.E. Ngurah Swajaya, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to ASEAN, H.E. Baek Seong-taek, Ambassador of the ROK to ASEAN, H.E. Suprapto Martosetomo, Special Advisor for International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Kim Young-sun, Ambassador of the ROK to the Republic of Indonesia, and H.E. Bagas Hapsoro, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, who represented Dr. Surin. Mr. SHIN Kee-yup, Vice Chairman of the Korean Community also attended the ceremony.

Later in the day, H.E. Kim Kyou-hyun paid a courtesy call on Dr. Surin at his office at the ASEAN Secretariat.

In the meeting, Dr. Surin encouraged the ROK to establish a Programme Management Team in Jakarta to work closely with ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat to facilitate the effective implementation of cooperation activities.

Dr. Surin also proposed for the ROK to encourage Korean companies in the ASEAN region to form an association or federation so that they could collectively interact and engage with ASEAN and Governments of ASEAN Member States. H.E. Kim Kyou-hyun commended the proposal of the Secretary-General, and agreed to seriously consider it taking into account that ASEAN is the second largest destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the ROK. Two-way trade between ASEAN and the ROK continued to grow and amounted to USD 124.5 billion in 2011 from USD 98.6 billion in 2010.

Dr. Surin and H.E. Kim Kyou-hyun also exchanged views on various ASEAN-ROK activities such as the ASEAN-ROK Cyber University project, ASEAN-ROK forest cooperation and the Global Movement of Moderates initiative of ASEAN.