Busan, Republic of Korea
12 December 2014

President Park Geun-hye of Korea formally commenced this year’s ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit at BEXCO in Busan.

In her opening statement, President Park thanked the ASEAN leaders for attending the summit and specifically mentioned President Benigno S. Aquino III for taking the time to join the meeting despite the domestic difficulties brought about by typhoon Hagupit and expressed sympathy to those who were affected by the storm.

President Park said that the cooperation between ASEAN and Korea has developed since their dialogue relationship was established in 1989. “Compared to 1989, the two-way trade volume has grown 16 times to 135 billion dollars while bilateral investment has increased a 19 fold to 3.8 billion dollars. People-to-people exchanges have also recorded a 25 fold increase with a number likely to reach seven million in the near future. Collaboration that began with a focus on trade and investment is now expanding into politics and security,” she said.

The Korean leader added that she looks forward to work together with the region in making a more comprehensive follow up plan of action for 2016 to 2020 and make collective efforts for the areas of peace and security, political, business and cultural enrichment among others.

“On the occasion of this commemorative summit, the ASEAN-ROK business council will be launched to assist ASEAN and ROK SMEs in entering each other’s market. With the council in place, I hope that SMEs will constitute one pillar of our economic partnership thus enabling its benefits to be enjoyed by many more of our people, said President Park.

Moreover, she proposed that the ASEAN-ROK bring in the “foundation of political and security partnership and set up a system of cooperation in order to secure a driving force for regional peace.”

Meanwhile, in his meeting with the Philippine media, President Aquino said that other leaders of ASEAN realized the huge effect of climate change to the Philippines and it was stressed in the second commemorative session that everybody should do “everything that they can now instead of waiting to perfect the equal responsibility measures that are still forthcoming.”

He added that the Korean government offered various assistance pertaining to disaster risk reduction and management.

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