1. The “11th Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum” took place at the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel from November 6 to 7 to enhance comprehensive exchanges and cooperation, and to promote friendship between the Republic of Korea and Central Asia.
o The forum, chaired by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyun (November 6) and Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Yun Kang-hyeon (November 7), was attended by about 200 people, including delegates from five Central Asian countries -- the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan -- led by vice ministerial-level government officials of the countries, as well as officials from international organizations, people from industries, academia, and the private and public sectors, and experts from home and abroad.
※ Heads of the delegations of the five Central Asian countries
- Kazakhstan: Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yermek Kosherbayev
- Kyrgyzstan: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dinara Kemelova
- Tajikistan: Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources Sulton Rahimzoda
- Turkmenistan: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vepa Hajiyev
- Uzbekistan: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dilshod Akhatov
2. At the forum, the participants made comprehensive assessments of the accomplishments of the last ten forums, and discussed in depth concrete ways forward for the Forum, as well as cooperation between the ROK and Central Asia.
o The ROK and the five Central Asian countries took note that the Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum, launched in 2007, had elevated the ROK-Central Asia relations to a higher level, expanded and deepened cooperation between the two sides in various areas, and successfully developed into a regular multilateral forum for consultations.
o The ROK and the five countries shared the view that to make a success of future cooperation between the ROK and Central Asia, they need to make efforts to expand a permanent system for cooperation, to make substantive progress in cooperation projects, and to facilitate multilateral cooperation projects in Central Asia. They also agreed on the need for the Korea-Central Cooperation Forum to continue to contribute to such efforts.
3. In the plenary session held on the morning of November 6, the ROK and the five Central Asian countries took note of the latest positive developments in efforts to promote reconciliation and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula, and agreed on the need for them to pursue the ROK government’s New Northern Policy, and the Central Asian countries’ national and social development strategies together in a harmonious and mutually-beneficial manner.
o In particular, the two sides presented transportation and logistics, healthcare and medical services, and forestry and environment as areas where cooperation projects can be implemented to enhance connectivity between the ROK and Central Asia, and to improve the quality of life.
4. In the session held on the morning of November 7, the head delegates made presentations on a range of topics, and in another session held in the afternoon, delegates from the participating countries, those from international organizations, and experts from home and abroad took note of the growing mood of cooperation in Central Asia, and engaged in in-depth discussions on cooperation in the Aral Sea-related issues, environment, energy, agriculture, and ecosystem under the theme “an efficient use of water resources in Central Asia.”
5. In the meeting of the head delegates of the ROK and the five Central Asian countries (C5+1), chaired by Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun, the ROK and the five Central Asian countries unanimously approved Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Secretariat of the Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum, and adopted a plan for the Secretariat’s projects for the year 2019.
o In addition to the Forum, the ROK held bilateral meetings with the five Central Asian countries, and exchanged views on ways to step up cooperation between the two sides.
6. On the occasion of the Forum, the “5th meeting of the public-private committee on economic cooperation with Central Asia” took place, and the winners of the ROK-Central Asia project idea competition made presentations. The events helped Korean businesspeople better understand Central Asia, and supported bids of young entrepreneurs in the ROK and Central Asia to start businesses.
7. The 11th Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum concluded after the delegations of the ROK and the five Central Asian countries adopted a “chairman’s statement,” which gives a summary of the accomplishments of the forum, and the results of discussions at the forum.
* unofficial translation