A workshop focusing on how to foster cooperation between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea (RoK), was held in Hanoi on November 21.

As part of the activities to mark the upcoming 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-RoK Dialogue Relations, the event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the RoK Embassy in Vietnam.

In his opening speech, Nguyen Tien Minh, head of the ministry’s ASEAN Department, spoke of the RoK’s strong commitment in forging ties with ASEAN as well as its support for the bloc’s efforts and central role in ensuring peace and stability.

He said ASEAN and the RoK have unceasingly boosted their dialogue ties, and the relationship was upgraded to strategic partnership in 2010.

The workshop was also a good chance for participants to discuss measures to bolster the links between ASEAN and the RoK, and between Vietnam and the RoK in particular in many fields, including politics-security, economics, culture-society and the response to global challenges.

Accordingly, the two sides will cooperate and provide mutual support in retaining peace, stability and security in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.

Regarding economic ties, they will work hard to bring two-way trade to 150 billion USD by 2015 and 200 billion USD by 2020, while promoting the efficiency of the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA), and accelerating negotiations of a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement with other partners.

The two sides will continue to strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchange, and boost cooperation between the RoK and the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries.

ASEAN and the RoK will also join hands to address non-traditional challenges such as terrorism, piracy, and food and water security.

At the workshop, attendees proposed measures to further enhance the partnership between Vietnam and the RoK, which is expected to contributing to both countries’ development as well as building the strong ASEAN Community.

The RoK is now Vietnam’s second largest foreign direct investor and trade partner with two-way trade turnover hitting 27.5 billion USD in 2013. The country is also the second largest ODA provider for Vietnam with a total commitment of 1.2 billion USD in 2012-2015.-VNA