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


Internet healthcare serving homebound patients in China

Online consultations, pharmaceutical deliveries play vital role during outbreak. One recent rainy day, Wu Hong was waiting at the gate of her residential community in Wuhan, Hubei province. When a deliveryman with a bag of medicine came into sight, she was greatly relieved. Wu’s mother-in-law is a breast-cancer patient and needs to take medicine regularly. Wu’s father suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and inhalers have been in short supply. As the novel coronavirus epidemic grew more serious, Wu wasn’t permitted to take her family to the hospital for drug refills. She was left in a state of restless anxiety. On Feb 26, Wu and her husband saw a news segment on TV saying that the Wuhan government had enabled online reimbursement se

By China Daily
March 13, 2020


India’s Congress suffers setback after key leader defects to BJP

Move by Scindia and 22 legislators could trigger fall of Congress-led govt in central Madhya Pradesh state. The Congress has suffered a political setback following the resignation of Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia and 22 legislators in Madhya Pradesh state, deepening an existential crisis for a party that is struggling for political relevance in modern Indian politics. Mr Scindia, 49, an articulate leader, yesterday joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with legislators loyal to him expected to follow suit. The move could lead to the collapse of the Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government. That would give the BJP a chance to form the government in the Hindi heartland state, which is seen as key objective for

By The Straits Times
March 12, 2020


Chinese Red Cross teams aid Iran’s COVID-19 fight

Humanitarian group to help Iranians with containment measures that worked in China. Voices on the other end of the line cut in and out due to a poor phone connection as officials at the Red Cross Society of China’s headquarters in Beijing attempted to talk to staff members on the ground in Iran on Tuesday morning. As the signal stabilised, the latest developments in controlling the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic in Teheran streamed into a conference room packed with Red Cross managers. Zhou Xiaohang, head of a five-member team-four medics and a Farsi interpreter sent to assist with COVID-19 control in Iran-said Iranians are increasingly taking precautions such as wearing face masks and washing their hands more often.

By China Daily
March 11, 2020


Shortage of Masks, Handwash due to panic- buying: Leave some for everyone

Despite repeated calls by global and local health experts and warnings from government, panic-buying grips the country. Global health experts have warned against hoarding masks, handwash and sanitisers during the coronavirus outbreak as it could worsen the situation by depriving those who might need them. Despite this, panic-buying of these products in Dhaka has been triggered by news of the first confirmed coronavirus cases in the country. Across the capital, several pharmacies and superstores have been facing a shortage of masks, antiseptic liquids and sanitisers since Sunday afternoon. The demand for tissue papers has also almost doubled overnight, some retailers claimed. Many of the retail stores, super shops and pharmacies in Karwan Bazar, M

By Daily Star
March 10, 2020


MH17 trial in Malaysia begins today

It was reported that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile while flying over the conflict-hit eastern Ukraine. The trial will begin today. All eyes will be on the District Court of The Hague at the Schiphol Judicial Complex (JCS) in Badhoevedorp as the criminal proceeding against four men accused of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 begins. It was reported that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile while flying over the conflict-hit eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board, comprising 43 Malaysians, 193 Dutch nationals and 27 Australians, were killed. Members of the Malaysian media here to cover the start of the trial were given a briefing by press secretary for the judge, Yolande Wijnnobel, on what to expect at the start of the much-awai

By The Star
March 9, 2020


OPINION: ‘Righteous’ women

So who is this ‘righteous’ woman that would never dare join Aurat Marchers? ‘TIS the season to be righteous, or so many prominent Pakistanis on TV and social media along with the religious right would have us believe. Pakistan suffers from hypocritical moral policing at the best of times — in homes, colleges and universities, places of religious worship, and the workplace — but the trigger for the current frenzy is the impending Aurat Marches in many cities of the country. Given that these marches only began three years ago, one can only marvel at how rapidly they have gotten under the proverbial skin of their highly agitated opponents. Enough has been said and written about the wider context of the marches and why they threaten the

By ANN Members
March 6, 2020