1. The First ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM)-Korea Consultation was held on 4 September 2004 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Rini M.S. Soewandi, Minister of Industry and Trade, Indonesia; and H.E. Kim Hyun-Chong, Minister for Trade, Republic of Korea.
2. The Ministers were satisfied that the quality of dialogue at this First Consultation which underlined the strength and maturity of the ASEAN-Korea partnership. They reiterated the importance of regular and continuing engagement between ASEAN and Korea on practical cooperation on matters of mutual interest, in particular, regional and international and economic issues. The Ministers also discussed areas of future cooperation which would underscore their continued commitment to the dialogue relationship.
ASEAN-Korea Trade and Investment Relations
3. The Ministers exchanged views on recent international and economic developments, noting there were signs of a stronger outlook for regional and global economic growth following the negative impact of factors such as terrorism on the business and consumer confidence. The Ministers also affirmed their commitment to promoting regional growth, through domestic and international trade and economic reform, amongst others.
4. The Ministers noted that ASEAN and Korea continued to be important trading partners. In 2003, based on ASEAN Statistics, ASEAN exported to Korea US$17.1 billion or 4% of her total exports to the world and imported from Korea, US$15.1 billion or 4.2% of her total imports from the world. This ASEAN-Korea bilateral trade grew by 2.2% from US$31.5 billion in 2002 to US$32.2 billion in 2003.
5. Korea’s investment in ASEAN has generally accounted about 3% of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into ASEAN over the period of 1995-2003. However, Korea’s cumulative investments in ASEAN amount to US$ 11 billion which accounts for 15.2% of Korea’s total FDI outflow, making ASEAN the third largest investment destination for Korean firms.
ASEAN-Korea Economic Cooperation
6. The Ministers shared the view that a number of economic cooperation projects between Korea and ASEAN through ODA and SCF (Special Cooperation Fund) have greatly contributed to strengthening the ASEAN-Korea economic partnership. The Ministers renewed their commitment to make further efforts to broaden and deepen the existing ties of cooperation.
7. Bearing in mind the significance of newly-established dialogue channels such as AEM-Korea Consultations and ASEAN-Korea Senior Economic Officials Meeting, the Ministers agreed to use these channels for exploring new cooperation projects and coordinating the on-going cooperative activities. The Ministers also welcomed Korea’s plan to hold an International Workshop on Korea-ASEAN Economic Cooperation in Seoul from 21-23 September 2004, which is designed for in-depth discussions on the long-term vision for cooperation between ASEAN and Korea.
ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area
8. The Ministers welcomed the recommendations in the Report of the Joint Study on Comprehensive Closer Economic Relations between ASEAN and Korea of the ASEAN-Korea Experts Group (AKEG). The Report, jointly prepared by both ASEAN and Korea, recommended the establishment of an ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area (AKFTA). The Ministers recommended that this be considered by the Leaders during the ASEAN-ROK Summit in Vientiane, Lao PDR in November 2004.
LIST OF MINISTERS
The Meeting was attended by:
(i) H.E. Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam;
(ii) H.E. Mr. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia;
(iii) H.E. Ms. Rini M.S. Soewandi, Minister of Industry and Trade, Indonesia;
(iv) H.E. Mr. Kim Hyun-Chong, Minister for Trade, Republic of Korea;
(v) H.E. Mr. Soulivong Daravong, Minister of Commerce, Lao PDR;
(vi) H.E. Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia;
(vii) H.E. U Tin Winn, Minister of Economic Cooperation, Myanmar;
(viii) H.E. Dr. Thomas G. Aquino, Undersecretary of Trade and Industry, Philippines;
(x) H.E. Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore;
(xi) H.E. Mr. Watana Muangsook, Minister of Commerce, Thailand;
(xii) H.E. Mr. Truong Dinh Tuyen, Minister of Trade, Viet Nam; and
(xiii) H.E. Mr. Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of ASEAN