The secretaries-general of the ASEAN-the Republic of Korea (RoK) Centre, the ASEAN-Japan Centre and the ASEAN-China Centre have gathered in Seoul to discuss how to enhance cooperation among ASEAN and the three East Asian countries.

At the April 12 meeting, the leaders discussed cooperation areas to continue supporting cooperation between ASEAN members and their three dialogue partners. They exchanged views on ways and means to enhance ASEAN Plus Three connectivity, thereby opening up a new dimension for cooperation among the countries.

They had an in-depth discussion on future cooperation among the three centres, such as implementing joint work programmes, personnel exchanges, sharing of information and practices, and institutionalising cooperation between the three organisations, which contribute to realising the long-term vision of the ASEAN Plus Three leaders of an East Asian community.

The three centres are intergovernmental organisations established between the governments of ASEAN member states and the RoK, Japan and China. They have been engaging in various work programmes and activities aimed at increasing trade volume, accelerating investment flow, invigorating tourism, and enriching cultural exchanges with ASEAN members.

The centres’ important role was emphasised by the ASEAN Plus Three leaders at the ASEAN Plus Three Summit which was held to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation in Phnom Penh , Cambodia , in November 2012. The ASEAN Plus Three Leaders thereby expressed their expectation on the centres to play a more constructive role in accelerating regional integration.-VNA