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ASEAN, Korea, China and Japan Discuss Ways to Enhance Public Health Cooperation and to Achieve Economic Recovery

  • Date : 2021-06-23 18:06:40
  • hit : 4380

ASEAN, Korea, China and Japan Discuss Ways to Enhance Public Health Cooperation and to Achieve Economic Recovery
- Result of ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting

1. The ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) was held at 10:30-12:00, June 22 (Seoul time), in a virtual format. Deputy Minister for Political Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kim Gunn attended the event as head of the Korean delegation. During today’s meeting, the participants discussed cooperation in areas such as public health, economy, finance and food security, and discussed future-oriented ways of cooperation, including for post-COVID-19 recovery. In addition, the Korean government explained and exchanged views on the New Southern Policy and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
- Starting with today’s APT meeting, a series of ASEAN-related SOMs, including those of the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), will be held until early July.

2. In his opening statement as the coordinator for Korea, China and Japan, Deputy Minister Kim commended ASEAN’s efforts in and the Plus Three countries’ contribution to responding to the COVID-19 crisis including the launch of the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund and the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies (RRMS), and highlighted the importance of coordinated action in the region to enhance public health capacity and to achieve economic recovery.

3. During the session for an exchange of views, Deputy Minister Kim mentioned that the Korean government is actively helping ASEAN enhance its public health capacity by implementing the New Southern Policy Plus. While highlighting the importance of vaccine cooperation, he introduced Korea’s contribution to the COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) and plans for becoming Asia’s vaccine manufacturing hub. He also mentioned the Korean government’s plan to host a vaccine forum for ASEAN at the end of June in cooperation with Australia and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI). 

4. Deputy Minister Kim spoke of the Korean government’s efforts to achieve inclusive and sustainable regional economic recovery through the New Southern Policy which encompasses finance, trade, investment, the reopening of borders, food security and environment, and emphasized the importance of cooperation among the APT countries. The gist of his remarks is as follows.
- For the resumption of safe movement among nations, relevant Korean ministries are reviewing a variety of ways including the fast-track system, mutual recognition of vaccine certificates and travel bubbles.
- The Financial Cooperation Center expected to open this year will reinforce financial cooperation in the region.
- To ensure an open and rules-based multilateral trade and investment environment, the early entry into force of the RCEP is important, and the participating countries are requested to complete their domestic procedures in a timely manner.
- Amid the emergence of the food security issue after the outbreak of COVID-19, Korea is contributing to ensuring food security through APTERR and AFSIS. 
- Deputy Minister Kim explained the outcome of the P4G Seoul Summit and put forward a direction for inclusive green recovery.

5. Concerning the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Deputy Minister Kim explained that the ROK-U.S. Summit in May renewed the momentum for resuming dialogue with the DPRK. He also noted that the leaders of the two countries reaffirmed their belief that diplomacy and dialogue are essential to achieving the complete denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, and asked for the other APT countries’ support for the Korean Peninsula peace process.

6. In his closing remarks, Deputy Minister Kim stressed that the Korean government will continue to play the role of facilitating functional and institutional cooperation among the APT countries, and that those countries should build on their accumulated experiences of cooperation in order to make a success of the upcoming Foreign Ministers’ and Summit meetings.