See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

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.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

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

Diplomacy

China-US trade deal bullish news for both countries, rest of world

From Chinese state media. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the China-US deal on the text of a phase-one economic and trade agreement serves as bullish news for both countries and the rest of the world. Speaking at a joint press conference with Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Wang said China has, as always, been opposed to settling economic and trade disputes by imposing tariffs as there is no winner in a trade war. China has also rejected the use of unilateral pressure as it violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wang. He pointed out that following rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, China and the United States have agreed on the wording of a phase-one economic and trade agreement, and the US side has promised to phase out additional tariffs on Chinese products. The agreement demonstrates the spirit


By China Daily
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Biegun arrives in Seoul amid deadlock in NK-US nuclear talks

Pyongyang says it conducted “another crucial test” at Sohae site. US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a “close coordination” with allies amid the deadlock in the denuclearization talks with Pyongyang just weeks before the communist regime’s year-end deadline. A day before, North Korea issued statements to announce that it had carried out “another crucial test” at a satellite launching site, warning the United States to “hold off” any action to “rattle” the regime. During his three-day trip here, the US special envoy is expected to meet with officials here to discuss on the


By The Korea Herald
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Myanmar to be sincere in implementing Rohingya repatriation deal

This according to the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister. Bangladesh expects that Myanmar would be more tolerant towards Rohingyas after facing trial at the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today. “My expectation is that Myanmar would be sincere in implementing the bilateral deal that signed with Bangladesh on repatriating Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” he told journalists at his ministry office in Dhaka. “Myanmar has invited me before a case lodged with the International Court of Justice. In response, I told that I would go there when the Rohingyas will go back to Myanmar,” the foreign minister said. “I also invited Myanmar to visit Bangladesh to talk to their Rohingya people and to understand their expectations,” Momen said. Globally it has been established that there was a massive crime committed against the Rohingyas, that was des


By Daily Star
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

10 US senators criticise Suu Kyi for representing military’s interest

Suu Kyi is in the Hague defending Myanmar from genocide accusations. Ten US Senators have severely criticized Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for representing the military’s interest before the International Court of Justice and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities. “Representing the Burmese military’s interest before The Hague and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities would undermine what remaining credibility you have before the international community, including in the US Congress,” said a letter to Suu Kyi issued on December 9. The Senators said a defense of the Burmese military at this high-profile international forum is also an affront to the inclusive, multi-cultural and democratic Burma that she claims to champion. They said when Buddhist nationalism is on the rise in


By Daily Star
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy

India under Modi is moving systematically with a supremacist agenda, says PM Imran

Imran Khan made the comments after India passed a controversial citizenship requirement. Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been moving systematically with a Hindu supremacist agenda. The prime minister was referencing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passed by India’s upper house amid protests on Wednesday. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 — but not if they are Muslim. Modi’s government — re-elected in May and under pressure over a slowing economy — says Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are excluded from the legislation because they do not face discrimination in those countries. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister I


By Dawn
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy

China, US in constant touch to resolve trade issues

China and the United States are in constant touch to resolve pending trade and economic issues, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. The comment came ahead of Sunday’s US deadline for another scheduled round of tariff increases on Chinese imports worth almost $160 billion. If a trade deal is not struck by Sunday, computer monitors and toys will be among the Chinese export items likely to be affected. Gao Feng, a ministry spokesman, said the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has already worked out tariff exemptions on some soybean, pork and other products shipped from the US — the latest sign of tensions easing in the protracted trade conflict. The US seems to resort to brinkmanship by using a tariff deadline to pressure China in the ongoing trade talks for a phase one, preliminary deal, said Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges


By China Daily
December 13, 2019