1. Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun will lead a delegation of the Republic of Korea to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) South East Asia Regional Program (SEARP)* Ministerial Conference, to be held in Tokyo from March 8 to 9.
* The OECD South East Asia Regional Program (SEARP), launched in 2014, is one of the five regional cooperation programs that the OECD launched to increase cooperation with non-OECD countries (OECD and one ASEAN country serve as co-chairs).
※ March 8 (Thu.): Ministerial Forum / March 9 (Fri.): 4th SEARP Steering Group Meeting (Permanent Representative of the ROK to the OECD Yoon Jong-won will attend the meeting)
2. The upcoming conference will be co-hosted by the OECD and the Japanese Foreign Ministry under the theme “Inclusive ASEAN.” The ROK and Thailand will attend the conference as next co-chairs of the OECD SEARP Steering Group (three-year term, March 2018-March 2021).
o The conference will bring together Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, OECD Deputy Secretary-General Masamichi Kono, ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, and ministerial-level officials from ASEAN member countries.
3. In his address at the ministerial conference on March 8, Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun will highlight the connectivity between the ROK government’s policy for a “people-centered economy,” the OECD’s “inclusive growth initiative,” and ASEAN’s goal of a “people-oriented and people-centered community.” Vice Minister Cho will also express the ROK government’s commitment to achieving its vision for an ROK-ASEAN community through the New Southern Policy, and to strengthening cooperation with ASEAN.
o On March 8, Vice Minister Cho will attend a reception hosted by Foreign Minister Kono, and officially take over the co-chairmanship from former co-chairs, Japan and Indonesia.
4. The ROK’s co-chairmanship of the OECD SEARP is expected to enhance the ROK’s status, and to contribute to achieving greater results from the ROK’s New Southern Policy by strengthening its connectivity with key projects of the OECD SEARP.
* unofficial translation