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Asean-South Korea Enhance Cooperation In The Fields Of Economy, Security-Politics

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BUSAN – Enhancing cooperation in the fields of economy and security-politics are among the issues that would be given attention in Asean-South Korean relations.

Other areas of cooperation that would be intensified was in the field of socio culture.

Agreement on this matter was contained in the Asean-South Korea Commemorative Summit on the 25th Anniversary of Asean-South Korea Relations, that is one of the two documents accepted at the summit on Friday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, who led the Malaysian delegation at the summit, said the second document accepted at the summit was the Executive Report on the Asean-South Korea Action Plan (2011-2015).

“The Asean-South Korea summit in Busan carried two objectives. Firstly, it is to evaluate the Asean-South Korean cooperation and determine the direction of this relation in the future, and secondly, it is to discuss Non-Traditional Security Issues and Cooperation with emphasis on the Climate Change and Disaster Management,” he told the Malaysian Media, here.

Najib said the summit gave emphasis on economic and trade relations where Asean-South Korea bilateral trade amounted to US$135 billion in 2013, an increase of US$4 billion compared with the figure of US$131 billion recorded in 2012.

“If the world economy continues to grow, there is a strong possibility that the target of US$200 billion in Asean-South Korea bilateral trade will be achievable,” he said.

The summit, said the prime minister, also took note of the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) where South Korea was the fifth biggest investor in terms of its contribution to the total investment in Asean.

“In my intervention, I had touched on the Asean-South Korea Business Council, this is most useful in boosting further the involvement of the private sector and the business community.

“I also welcome the creation of the Asean-South Korea Innovation Centre where more innovative projects can be implemented while the capacity to carry out innovation among the Asean member nations can be raised,” he said.

In addition, the Summit also hoped that the contribution of the Asean-Korea Centre, which had existed for the last five years and had carried out many programmes in terms of capacity building, trade and investment promotions, people to people links would continue to be expanded.

The Prime Minister said in terms of geo-political security, the summit had reiterated its stand that Peninsular Korea must comply with the denuclearisation of the peninsula and comply with all the resolutions of the United Nations (UN) pertaining to security in the Northeast Asian region.

“All the problems and disagreements must be resolved through negotiations, particularly the six-party talks. Although there are difficulties, we still believe they are the best mechanism to ensure peace and security in this region,” he said.

Najib said the summit also welcomed the initiative of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, called the North-East Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative.

Referring to the issue on climatic change, the summit had stressed on the importance of achieving a balance between development and environmental conservation and on this matter, Malaysia generally could show that her development model did not sacrifice environmental interests, he said.

“In terms of disaster aid, we hope the Asean Centre for Disaster Management will continue to play a role, and cooperation in this field is most crucial because the Asean region is exposed to natural disaster risks that can affect economic growth and bring misery to the people,” he added. – Bernama

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