|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc joins leaders of other ASEAN member states and President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Moon Jae-in at the first session of the ASEAN-RoK Commemorative Summit (Photo:VGP).
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made the statement at the second session of the ASEAN-RoK Commemorative Summit in Busan on November 26, with leaders of other ASEAN member states and President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Moon Jae-in in attendance.
Upon addressing the session, PM Phuc proposed a number of directions to enhance cooperation for connectivity between the RoK and ASEAN, including connecting and developing infrastructure at seaport along the strategic shipping route from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific linking Southeast Asia with Northeast Asia.
He asked the RoK to expedite the disbursement of capital from the Global Infrastructure Fund to support ASEAN’s infrastructure projects.
With its technological strength, especially digital technology, the RoK is in a good position to help ASEAN businesses, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the digital economy, he said.
Phuc suggested ASEAN and the RoK intensify their investments in connecting people, facilitating travel, tourism, and promoting the flow of skilled labourers between the two sides.
ASEAN leaders underscored that connectivity is ASEAN's high priority in its effort to enhance regional connectivity and build the ASEAN Community.
They expressed thanks to the RoK’s effective support for the regional grouping in realizing master plans on ASEAN connectivity for the 2010-2015 and 2015-2025 periods and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) to narrow the development gap; developing human resources, vocational training, smart cities, roads, railways and sea routes to connect areas in ASEAN.
ASEAN member states aspire to expand comprehensive cooperation with the RoK in the areas of infrastructure development, digital connectivity, and people-to-people exchange, they said.
For his part, Korean President Moon Jae-in Moon affirmed his nation’s willingness to actively cooperate with ASEAN to promote regional connectivity.
With regard to infrastructure development, the RoK will contribute to increasing cohesion between island and continental areas in East Asia, and incentivize Korean businesses to invest in 19 key infrastructure projects in the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, he stated
Regarding digital connectivity, the RoK will push for stronger connection of smart urban infrastructure, through choosing Busan and Sejong to pilot linkages with the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN); and increasing the sharing of satellite data with ASEAN on monitoring climate change and environmental impact in Asia.
The RoK will also improve its visa system to facilitate ASEAN citizens’ travel to the RoK; and encourage cooperation in maritime and aviation transport between the two sides, he said.
Moon also announced the RoK’s initiative to provide vocational training for 100 teachers and 400 workers from ASEAN in the next three years, adding that the country will also support ASEAN members in improving technological capacity and solutions, and double the number of scholarships for ASEAN citizens by 2022.
During the working lunch on promoting peace in the Korean Peninsula on the same day, ASEAN and RoK leaders hailed historic positive progress in dialogues for peace and denuclearization in the Peninsula, including the inter-Korean and US-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea summits.
ASEAN leaders showed their appreciation for the efforts made by the RoK government and President Moon in promoting the peace process in the Korean Peninsula, affirming ASEAN's readiness to support and contribute to concert efforts towards sustainable peace and denuclearization in the Peninsula, including offering conditions for parties to strengthen dialogue within ASEAN-led forums.
The Korean President also acknowledged and was appreciative of positive and constructive stance and goodwill of ASEAN member states to contribute to dialogues and cooperation for peace and denuclearization in the Peninsula.