- Press Releases
Foreign Minister Attends WEF on ASEAN 2018 on Sept. 11-13 in her Capacity as Co-chair
1. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN 2018 held in Hanoi, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, from September 11 till 13 in her capacity as its co-chair.
° On the occasion of the WEF event, Minister Kang paid courtesy calls on the Prime Ministers of Vietnam and Sri Lanka, and held bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Japan and Chile, as well as Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab of the WEF.
※ The WEF event brought together some 1,000 people, including top-level figures of such ASEAN member states as Laos, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia and Cambodia; the Foreign Ministers of Japan, Indonesia, Chile and Laos and other minister-level officials, 51 in total; and delegates from major international organizations and enterprises.
2. On September 12, after attending the co-chairs’ joint press conference, the first official event, Minister Kang joined the session on “Breaking Barriers: Women Entrepreneurs in ASEAN.”
° In the co-chairs’ joint press conference, Minister Kang spoke of the ROK government’s New Southern Policy vision to build “a peace-loving, people-centered community where all members are better off together”; in particular, stressed that in building the envisioned ROK-ASEAN community, “people” should be put at its center with “peace” as its foundation; and asked ASEAN to play a constructive role in the course of establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula, including through the inter-Korean summit set for the following week.
° In the session on “Breaking Barriers: Women Entrepreneurs in ASEAN,” the Minister, together with female start-up entrepreneurs and other participants from the private sector of the ASEAN region, discussed policies that could help to create an environment facilitating success of women entrepreneurs in the region, as well as how relevant systems could be improved.
3. On September 13, the second day of the WEF event, Minister Kang attended a panel session on “Asia’s Geopolitical Outlook.” In the session, the Minister brought attention to the ROK government’s three priorities in the Asia-Pacific region -- building momentum for progress toward the denuclearization and the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula; keeping in place an open-door policy regarding trade and immigration; carrying out the New Southern Policy and pursuing openness and inclusiveness. She went on to stress that with these three as basic principles, ways should be sought to implement and advance various policy initiatives in a connected and mutually beneficial manner.
° In particular, Minister Kang stated that the recent two rounds of inter-Korean summit talks and the first-ever US-North Korea summit meeting had led to great progress in the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The Minister, calling it the ROK’s government priority task to continue moving forward efforts toward the denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula, voiced hope that the inter-Korean summit talks slated for the following week would keep this momentum alive.
° The Minister, calling the “ASEAN-centrality” an important goal of the ROK government’s policy initiative toward the Asia-Pacific region, mentioned that the ROK government was implementing the New Southern Policy in a bid to help the region achieve a sustainable prosperity and promote peace.
° The panel session was joined by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh of Vietnam, Foreign Minister Taro Kono of Japan and Lynn Kuok, a fellow at the International Institution for Strategic Studies, who exchanged in-depth views on the geopolitics of the Korean Peninsula and the ASEAN region.
4. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha’s service as a co-chair of a WEF on ASEAN, the first of its kind by an ROK government official, is seen to have served as an opportunity to share with major political and business figures of Asia the ROK government’s philosophy regarding the implementation of its New Southern Policy.
° In particular, the session on “Asia’s Geopolitical Outlook,” which Minister Kang attended on September 13 as one of its panelists, drew keen attention from participants, as can be seen from the fact it took place at a plenary hall, marking a rare case. The session is seen to have served as a good opportunity to disseminate the ROK government’s message regarding its New Southern Policy as well as the denuclearization and the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula.
* unofficial translation