11 July 2024

Strengthening ASEAN-Korea relations is one of Korea’s top foreign policies priorities, as South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol recently unveiled his country’s version of the Indo-Pacific strategy and the Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative. Yoon wants to raise bilateral ties to a new level. Seoul has pledged to double its development funding to ASEAN until 2027.

The ASEAN-Korean Centre (AKC) is holding a one-day forum on 8th December, with experts from both sides reviewing the current status and identifying challenges related to connectivity issues, amid the fast changing international environment.

The AKC has hosted the forum for the past ten years, following ASEAN’s adoption of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity back in 2010.

ASEAN and Korea agree that a seamless and comprehensively connected and integrated ASEAN will benefit the whole region’s stability and prosperity. This year’s forum will also take stock of and share information on the various programs related to connectivity undertaken by Korea and other dialogue countries.

According to the AKC, ASEAN and Korea will continue to strengthen connectivity-related cooperation, including greater investment, to ensure speedier post-pandemic economic recovery.

Korea established ties with ASEAN as a sectorial dialogue partner in 1989 and gradually moved up the ladder to become one of its most important dialogue partners. At the Phnom Penh Summit, Yoon made it known that Korea would like to upgrade its current ties with ASEAN, to the so-called “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”, putting them on a par with China, Australia, the US and India.