The relationship between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) and the Republic of Korea(ROK) has exhibited remarkable mutual cooperation and growing interdependence since the establishment of Dialogue Partnership in 1989.
ASEAN and the ROK have acknowledged a strong momentum in their relations, particularly since the ROK hosted three Commemorative Summits with ASEAN in Jeju in 2009, in Busan in 2014 and 2019 to celebrate the 20th, 25th and 30th anniversary of ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Partnership, respectively.
ASEAN is the ROK's second largest trading partner and the third largest investment destination, and both sides committed to increase the two-way trade volume to $US 200 billion by 2020.
Socio-cultural cooperation between ASEAN and the ROK has been promoted including through various activities during the ASEAN-ROK Culture Exchange Year in 2017. In addition to the ASEAN-Korea Centre established in Seoul in 2009, the ROK established the ASEAN Culture House in Busan in 2017, which serves to boost bilateral cultural cooperation and people-to-people exchanges. ASEAN is the most popular travel destination for Koreans.
The ASEAN-ROK partnership has witnessed substantive progress in cooperation projects under the Plan of Action (2016-2020) in areas such as food, agriculture, forestry, infrastructure development, science and technology, health, and the ROK's assistance in ASEAN's efforts to narrow the development gap within the region.
The next Plan of Action (2021-2025) will provide a comprehensive framework and practical measures to further strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation. The new Plan of Action will place a priority on programs that will have region-wide impacts, including development cooperation, narrowing development gap, and enhancing regional connectivity.
The ROK is committed to working together with ASEAN in the ASEAN-led mechanisms including ASEAN Plus Three(APT), East Asia Summit(EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum(ARF), and ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus(ADMM-Plus) to promote regional peace and prosperity and shape the future regional architecture. The ROK reaffirmed its support for ASEAN's central role in these regional frameworks. ASEAN acknowledged the active role and contribution of the ROK in promoting regional integration in East Asia.
The ROK government hopes to further strengthen the country's diplomatic relations with ASEAN and build a stronger than ever partnership with ASEAN and develop it to the level that the country enjoys with other global powers.
President Moon Jae-in announced the New Southern Policy in 2017 and presented a vision of creating a People-centered Community of Peace and Prosperity. Corresponding with the three pillars of ASEAN Community, the New Southern Policy is underpinned by the "3P" pillars - People, Prosperity and Peace - with People placed at the center of the policy. It aims to build a people's community where people connect to each other heart-to-heart, a peaceful community that contributes to peace in the region through security cooperation, and a prosperous community that thrives through reciprocal economic cooperation.
The ROK government doubled the ASEAN-ROK cooperation fund(AKCF) to $US 14 million and increased Mekong-ROK cooperation fund(MKCF) to $US 3 million in order to facilitate closer cooperation with ASEAN.