ASEAN, SOUTH KOREA LEADERS TO CHART FUTURE COOPERATION AT COMMEMORATIVE SUMMIT

NOOR SORAYA MOHAMMAD JAMAL

BUSAN (South Korea), Nov 23 -- The ASEAN-South Korea Commemorative Summit 2019 will serve as a platform to strengthen and chart future cooperations between ASEAN and South Korea in political security, economy and socio-cultural areas for the next 30 years.

Malaysia Ambassador to South Korea, Datuk Mohd Ashri Muda said the summit, to be held on Nov 25-26, will also provide the leaders of the respective countries with the opportunity to review the past 30 years of ASEAN-South Korea relations.

Speaking to reporters today, he said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and ASEAN leaders will also have the opportunity to share their insights on the situation in the Korean Peninsula and exchange views on the way forward in addressing the issue.

“Although this issue is quite a distance away from ASEAN jurisdiction, South Korea really appreciates the sincerity of ASEAN leaders and their efforts in seeking for peace in the Korean Peninsula," he said.

Dr Mahathir, who will be leading the Malaysian delegation, is scheduled to arrive in Busan tomorrow, accompanied by his wife Tun Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali.

The prime minister would be joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking as well as senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, Wisma Putra and MITI.

With the slogan “Partnership for Peace, Prosperity for People”, the summit commemorates the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-South Korea dialogue relations and the continuation of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s New Southern Policy.

This year’s event will mark South Korea’s third commemorative summit, having hosted the previous summits in Jeju (2009) and Busan (2014).

During the event, the leaders are expected to adopt the ASEAN – South Korea 30th Anniversary Vision Statement for Peace, Prosperity and Partnership, and a co-chairs statement by Thailand and South Korea would also be issued at the conclusion of the summit.

In 2018, South Korea's trade with the ASEAN region stood at US$160 billion -- US$100 billion in exports and US$60 billion in imports, thus making the region the country's second-largest trading partner.

The country’s list of major trading partners also includes China, the United States, Japan and Russia.

During the summit, Dr Mahathir will be participating in a dialogue session organised by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) themed “New Partnership for the Co-Prosperity of Korea and ASEAN Businesses” -- a side event aimed at promoting regional business cooperation among entrepreneurs.

He is also scheduled to visit the Malaysian Pavilion at the INVEST ASEAN Exhibition, ASEAN-South Korea Startup Summit and the ASEAN-South Korea Innovation Showcase.

While in Busan, the prime minister will also take the opportunity to visit the Korea Aerospace Industry (KAI) and Hyundai Rotem Changwon Factory.

After the summit, Dr Mahathir will undertake an official visit to Seoul from Nov 27 to 28 -- his first official visit to South Korea since assuming the post as Malaysia’s 7th Prime Minister in May 2018.

Meanwhile Dr. Siti Hasmah would join the Spouse Programme, which includes a visit to the K-Beauty Festival and luncheon hosted by the First Lady of South Korea, Kim Jung-sook.

-- BERNAMA