Work starts on ASEAN Culture House in Busan, Korea hinh anh 1At the ground-breaking ceremony (Source: VNA)
Seoul (VNA) – Construction on an ASEAN Culture House recently started in Busan city, in the Republic of Korea (RoK) as part of efforts to promote mutual understanding and cultural exchanges with ASEAN member states.

The four-storey ASEAN House will be built in Busan’s Haeundea district, and is scheduled to be open for visitors in late 2017.

Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony, First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam recalled that since the establishment of a bilateral dialogue partnership in 1989, ASEAN and the RoK have developed friendly and trustful ties.

ASEAN has become the second largest trade partner and the most popular tourist destination of the RoK, with two-way trade surging 20-fold and civil exchanges increasing 24-fold, he said.

On the back of such momentum, Lim believed that the cultural initiative, which was reached at a commemorative summit held in December 2014 to mark 25 years of bilateral partnership, will contribute to raising Korean awareness of ASEAN’s cultural diversity as well as promoting cultural and civil exchanges.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Pham Huu Chi called the project a bridge of culture and a symbol of strategic partnership between ASEAN and the RoK; saying that it is of significance, given that ASEAN has become an inclusive community in which the integration of cultural diversity is a key pillar of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

Kim Kyu-ok, deputy governor of Busan city, said Busan is worthy of accommodating the ASEAN Culture House as it hosted the commemorative summit in 2014 and now boasts itself as the second largest city and an economic hub of the RoK.

Busan has twinning relations and works closely with six ASEAN cities across the fields of economy, tourism, health care and cinema.

Nearly 20,000 nationals from ASEAN countries are living in the city, he said.-VNA