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Korea and ASEAN to expand economic cooperation via solidarity initiative 2023-08-23

Minister for Trade Dukgeun Ahn and the Korean delegation attended the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting from August 20-22 in Semarang, Indonesia, and held bilateral, multilateral meetings with counterparts from the U.S., China, Japan and India to review agenda items for the upcoming ASEAN summit meeting to be held in September in Jakarta and to discuss measures for promoting regional trade and business.

The Korean delegation explained in detail the economic cooperation measures in accordance with the Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI) presented by Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol in November 2022 in Cambodia during the Korea-ASEAN summit meeting. The delegation shared the progress on the Korea-ASEAN joint development cooperation R&D suggested during the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ meeting held last year, and drew the ASEAN delegation’s interest and support regarding the Korea-ASEAN electrical power safety cooperation network project.

Moreover, the Korean and ASEAN delegations agreed to continue to pursue and expand existing projects concerning technological guidance, standards, start-up cooperation, Korea-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) implementation and digital rules. During the 26th ASEAN+3 Economic Ministers’ Meeting held in the afternoon of the same day, the two sides emphasized the need for cooperation in trade, investment, digital, green economy as well as in establishing a stable supply chain.

At the 11th East Asian Summit (EAS) Economic Ministers’ Meeting held on August 21, the Korean delegation promised to cooperate as a responsible member of the international community on global and complex issues. During the 2nd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministers’ Meeting, the delegation welcomed discussions for the establishment of rules for new membership accession and approval of support organization management rules within the ASEAN Secretariat, and reviewed the implementation progress of economic technology cooperation.

On the sidelines of the economic ministers’ meeting, Trade Minister Ahn held bilateral talks with trade chiefs of Indonesia, the Philippines, the UK and other countries on issues including rare minerals supply chain, nuclear and hydrogen energy, electric vehicles (EVs), and climate change response.