See More on Facebook


Korea, ASEAN leaders highlight cooperation

Korea, Indonesia conclude CEPA talks, hope for RCEP.

Written by

Updated: November 26, 2019

South Korea and Indonesia on Monday issued a joint declaration announcing the successful end of the comprehensive economic partnership agreement negotiations.

The declaration was adopted after President Moon Jae-in’s bilateral summit with President Joko Widodo of Indonesia held on the sidelines of the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit that kicked off in Busan.

The Korea-Indonesia CEPA negotations were effectively wrapped up in October, and the two sides have since been working on finalizing the deal in time for the ASEAN-Korea summit.

“The two countries will seek mutually beneficial prosperity together. Bilateral trade reached $20 billion last year, and will increase due to the CEPA,” Moon said.

Korea’s exports to Indonesia amounted to $8.8 billion while imports stood at $11.2 billion in 2018, and the two sides hope to raise total trade to $30 billion by 2022.

Going on to express hopes for furthering Korea-Indonesia relations through the summit, Moon said that their relations will benefit ASEAN and the international community.

Widodo echoed Moon in stressing the importance of economic cooperation between the two countries.

“Economic cooperation between our two countries should increase,” Widodo said.

Describing the CEPA as a “symbol of the two countries’ economic liberation,” Widodo went on to express hopes that the regional comprehensive economic partnership will be signed next year.

In addition to adopting the declaration, Korea and Indonesia also signed a visa waiver treaty for diplomats and other civil servants, and a memorandum of understanding on cooperating in the project to relocate Indonesia’s capital city.

The meeting with Widodo was Moon’s second bilateral summit of the day, who began the first day of the summit conference with a meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha where the two discussed issues concerning Korea-Thailand relations, as well as those regarding the ASEAN member nations.

At the meeting, Moon stressed the importance of Korean-Thai relations and thanked the Thai prime minister for his support in advancing Korea’s relations with the ASEAN.

“Thailand is the most important partner in our government’s New Southern Policy. (I) hope for the cooperation between both countries expands into diverse areas such as defense, water management, science and technology, infrastructure,” Moon said.

Citing Thailand’s high economic growth rate and the “Thailand 4.0” policy, which includes the Eastern Economic Corridor or EEC development plan, Moon also highlighted the Thai government’s development drive and the opportunity the country represents. The EEC plan is aimed at laying the foundation for greater investment and the development of advanced industries in Thailand.

“I hope to make this an opportunity for sharing ways to increase cooperation and to share our vision through the two cooperation frameworks with other ASEAN leaders,” the Thai prime minister said, referring to the ASEAN-Korea and Mekong-Korea summits. Thailand is co-chair of both summits.

The Thai leader went on to stress the importance of closer cooperation with Korea in achieving shared goals.

After the summit, the two sides also signed memorandums of understanding on science and technology, Thailand’s EEC and immigration policies.

With the science and technology memorandum, the two countries agreed to expand the scope of cooperation in related fields to include food technology and biotechnology, high-tech areas including satellites, and research on nuclear reactors.

Concerning the EEC, the two countries agreed to exchange information and establish a support system to guide Korean companies that wish to invest in the EEC project. The immigration memorandum calls for increased cooperation to prevent illegal immigration and employment.

Moon was scheduled to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines later in the day, continuing the bilateral summits scheduled to be held on the occasion of the ASEAN-Korea summit.

Moon is set to meet with all nine ASEAN leaders attending the summit by Thursday since Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen canceled his trip to Korea as his mother-in-law is in a critical condition.

The summits with leaders of Singapore and Brunei were held in Seoul on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

With conference sessions of the ASEAN-Korea summit scheduled for Tuesday, the attending leaders took part in economy and innovation related events.

The first multilateral event of the day was the CEO Summit, followed by ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit.

In addition to the events attended by Moon and the visiting leaders, Monday also saw a number of business and culture-related events such as the ministerial conference on the topic of smart city, and an exhibition on smart city. The first day of the ASEAN-Korea summit also saw events such as the Korea-ASEAN Fashion Week and K-beauty festival.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

About the Author: ANN’s Board member Mr Zaffar Abbas, Editor of Pakistan’s Dawn has won the 2019 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protest Journalists.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


10 dead in Delhi in violent protests against controversial citizenship law, in the midst of Trump’s visit

Witnesses said Delhi police, who were outnumbered, did little to stop the violence, mostly standing by while groups pelted each other with stones, and vandalised vehicles and property. At least 10 people, including a cop, have been killed in India’s capital city Delhi since Monday (Feb 24), in a worrying outbreak of communal violence between those protesting a controversial citizenship law and groups who oppose them. The violence, marked by arson and stone pelting, continued on Tuesday less than 20km from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump were holding talks. Even journalists reporting on the spot were attacked and forced to delete pictures and footage. More than 100 people have been injured, accordin

By The Straits Times
February 27, 2020


Malaysia political turmoil: Search for new government continues as King meets 132 MPs in second day of interviews

The unprecedented move for the King to interview MPs individually instead of meeting party leaders appears to be in line with Dr Mahathir’s plan to form a grand coalition across the political spectrum. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong continues the search for Malaysia’s new government on Wednesday (Feb 26) by interviewing 132 MPs to see whether they back interim premier Mahathir Mohamad to continue leading the country. This will complete interviews of all 222 parliamentarians after those from the opposition were asked on Tuesday who they wanted as prime minister, or if they preferred a snap election. Those heading to the palace on Wednesday are from the now collapsed Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. The Straits Times understands that those still in

By The Straits Times
February 26, 2020


Mahathir made caretaker PM after Malaysia’s King accepts his resignation

After his resignation, the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition saw the departure of dozens of lawmakers that left it short of a majority in Parliament. Just hours after submitting his resignation to Malaysia’s King on Monday (Feb 24), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was made caretaker Prime Minister. The King accepted Tun Dr Mahathir’s resignation, but appointed him interim Prime Minister, Chief Secretary to the government Mohd Zuki Ali said in a statement. Dr Mahathir will continue to run the country’s administration until a new prime minister and Cabinet are appointed, he added. All ministerial appointments were also cancelled with effect from Monday as a result of the prime minister’s resignation, the chief secretary said in a separate state

By The Straits Times
February 25, 2020


Vietnamese advised to avoid travel to coronavirus-hit areas in South Korea, flights not banned yet

The Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnamese Embassy in South Korea has recommended Vietnamese citizens to avoid travel to areas affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and places vulnerable to the disease. The warning was made given the complex development of the COVID-19 in the RoK. Vietnamese citizens were also advised to keep a close watch and follow instructions of local agencies to prevent the illness. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK to work with local agencies to learn more about the situation, keep in touch with Vietnamese citizens in the country, establish a hotline and be ready to take protection measures when necessary. According to the embassy, as o

By Viet Nam News
February 24, 2020


Singdollar declines to near 3-year low on coronavirus fears

 Fall comes amid Asia-wide forex sell-off after South Korea infection spike, two deaths in Japan. The Singapore dollar fell along with most Asian currencies on concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The local currency fell to its lowest level against the United States dollar since May 2017 at one point yesterday, before recouping some of the losses. It slid about 1 per cent to as low as S$1.4083 to the greenback, before paring losses to trade 0.3 per cent lower. South Korea’s won sank more than 1 per cent to 1,201.95 to the dollar. The baht, the most sensitive in Asia to tourism, dropped 0.7 per cent to 31.406 to the dollar. The sell-off in the region’s foreign exchange (FX) markets followed a spike in confirmed infections in South

By The Straits Times
February 21, 2020


China revokes press cards of 3 WSJ journalists in Beijing

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, the press cards of three Wall Street Journal journalists who are based in Beijing will be revoked from Wednesday. The press cards of three Wall Street Journal journalists who are based in Beijing will be revoked from Wednesday, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang. “The Chinese people do not welcome media that use racially discriminatory languages and maliciously slander and attack China,” Geng told an online press briefing Wednesday. On Feb 3, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia” by Professor Walter Russell Mead of the Bard College, which smeared the efforts of the Chinese government and p

By China Daily
February 20, 2020