바로가기 메뉴
본문 바로가기
주메뉴 바로가기
검색창 열기
KOR

Press Releases

Second Vice Minister Attends Public Debate Session at World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia 2015

Date
2015-04-21
hit
2543

1. On April 20, Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul attended as a panelist a public debate session under the title “Mapping the Geo-economic Landscape” at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia 2015 (April 19-21), being held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Vice Minister explained the impact and significance of geopolitical changes in East Asia on its geoeconomic landscape and the ROK’s response strategy.

o Among panelists at the session were Philippine Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory Domingo, Cambodian Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce Sun Chanthol, and Omar Lodhi, Partner at the Abraaj Group. (Moderator: Professor Razeen Sally of the National University of Singapore)

2. Vice Minister Cho stated that East Asia is witnessing the “Asia Paradox,” a phenomenon where political and security conflicts among countries in the region are increasing despite the deepening economic interdependence and there is a mismatch between high and low politics. He added that changing geopolitical dynamics in Northeast Asia caused by the rise of China are intensifying the mismatch.

o The Vice Minister said that to overcome its fundamental cause “trust deficit,” the ROK government is pursuing the “Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative” and intends to actively contribute to facilitating regional integration and expanding trade and investment liberalization by playing the lead role in widening the intra-regional FTA network.

o In conclusion, he stated that from a larger perspective, the “Asia Paradox” does not necessarily need to be seen as being negative, because the increase in dynamism in the private sector and economic interdependence in the region is helping easing political and security conflicts and improving regional security.

3. Following statements by panelists, all participants were divided into ten groups, held discussions and reported the results of their discussions to the moderator. The moderator’s summary of the results is as follows.

o There is concern that nationalism emerging in the context of great game among big powers in East Asia, as well as domestic instability and vulnerability of institutions, is raising geopolitical risks.

o The moderator agreed with Vice Minister Cho’s comment that there is a mismatch between high and low politics in East Asia, but assessed that it is difficult to say definitively which region, Southeast Asia or Northeast Asia, is experiencing a more severe mismatch.

o Progress in regional economic integration has been made. However, many obstacles still remain, so industries are not feeling benefits that much yet in reality. There are still many things to do to achieve economic integration in ASEAN.

o Despite such concerns, more people have optimistic views on economic integration in East Asia. This is because there is strong momentum for integration, such as global value chain, technology development and demographic change.

4. Vice Minister Cho’s participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia 2015 served as an opportunity to reaffirm the ROK government’s interest and willingness to contribute in regional cooperation in East Asia to a range of participants, including government officials of major countries, academics, researchers, people from the media, and CEOs of private companies. It also helped raise their understanding of the ROK’s policies and strategies to respond to geopolitical and geoeconomic changes in East Asia, including expanding the intra-regional FTA network. 


             Spokesperson and Deputy Minister for Public Relations of MOFA

*unofficial translation