$0The Republic of Korea (RoK) on October 29 officially opened a mission in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN) and appointed its ambassador to the association. $0 $0 Addressing a ceremony to mark the debut of the mission, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said this move reflects the strong commitment of the RoK to its relations with ASEAN. $0 $0 He said the mission and the ambassador will contribute to fostering cooperation between the RoK and the association, thus facilitating the implementation of the bilateral cooperation. $0 $0 Pitsuwan urged the RoK to set up a program management team in Jakarta , which specialises on working closely with ASEAN member countries and the Secretariat, aiming to create favourable conditions for the implementation of the cooperation projects. $0 $0 He also expressed his hope that the RoK will encourage its businesses operating in the region to establish an association so that they could collectively interact and engage with ASEAN and governments of its member states. $0 $0 For his part, RoK Deputy Minister of Foreign and Trade Kim Kyou-hyun noted that ASEAN is now the second largest direct investment destination of his country. Two-way trade between the RoK and ASEAN increased from 98.6 billion USD in 2010 to 124.5 billion USD in 2011. $0 $0 The two sides have been implementing various cooperation projects including one on an AEAN-ROK Cyber University, AEAN-ROK forest cooperation and the Global Movement of Moderates initiative of ASEAN.-VNA$0