RoK Hopes Vietnam Support Cooperation with ASEAN

Entering the new year 2024, the Republic of Korea (RoK) has high expectations for Vietnam as a bridge, supporting the RoK in realizing its cooperation goals with ASEAN, said an expert.
January 09, 2024 | 16:16

The year 2023 is an important year for the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Vietnam as it is the first year the two countries officially carried out the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the East Asian nation pins hopes on the latter to support the country in realizing its cooperation goals with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2024, a Korean expert has said.

Talking to the VNA's reporter in Seoul, Prof. Choe Won-gi, head of the Centre for ASEAN - India Studies at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), said that with many important agreements reached during RoK President Yoon Suk Yeol's visit to Vietnam in June last year, Vietnam and the RoK have opened a new chapter in their bilateral cooperation since their diplomatic ties were set up 30 years ago.

RoK Hopes Vietnam Support Cooperation with ASEAN
A show of traditional costumes of Vietnam and the RoK at the Vietnam-RoK festival in Da Nang city. Photo: VNA

Noting that leaders of the two countries have agreed to prioritize bilateral cooperation in the fields of politics and security, the professor opined the cooperation should include maritime security and law enforcement. In the field of economic trade and investment, the two countries need to raise cooperation to a higher level, covering infrastructure, telecommunications, emerging technology and energy.

In the coming time, the RoK and Vietnam must concentrate on more complex industrial sectors and emerging areas of economic cooperation in alignment with the framework of RoK's Indo-Pacific Strategy, he said.

The RoK President has launched a regional strategy called the Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI) which provides fertile ground for the two countries to strengthen cooperation, not only at the bilateral level but also at the regional and global levels, he continued.

Regarding RoK-ASEAN cooperation in 2023 and orientation for 2024, the professor said that RoK's participation was very positively received by ASEAN member countries, especially at the RoK-ASEAN summit last year in Jakarta.

The year 2024 marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of a partnership between the RoK and ASEAN. On this occasion, the RoK wishes to upgrade relations with ASEAN to a comprehensive strategic partnership. Both sides are in the process of seeking tangible support for the new relationship, such as a plan of action, he said.

According to the scholar, the RoK has high expectations for Vietnam's role as a bridge and its ability to help the country obtain its cooperation goals with ASEAN.

RoK Hopes Vietnam Support Cooperation with ASEAN
Prof. Choe Won-gi, head of the Centre for ASEAN-India Studies at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) grants an interview to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Seoul. Photo: VNA

He assessed that the bilateral partnership between RoK and Vietnam is the most important in RoK's overall cooperation with ASEAN member countries, explaining that although Vietnam joined ASEAN late, its role and influence in ASEAN has been increasingly strengthened, and the country is an active participant, contributing to shaping the common future of ASEAN.

According to him, there are many things that Vietnam can do in the intermediary and coordinating role between the RoK and ASEAN.

Commenting on RoK-ASEAN cooperation and the role of Vietnam, Assistant Professor Beak Yong-hun from the School of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies under the RoK’s Dankook University said that the RoK wants to promote practical and future-oriented cooperation with ASEAN and the Mekong region.

The administration of President Yoon advocates expanding practical collaboration in future-oriented fields such as digital transformation, climate change response, medical services, and health care, and at the same time broadening strategic cooperation in areas of common interest between Korea and ASEAN, such as maritime security and defense industry.

Regarding the RoK-Vietnam relations, it is necessary to establish a cooperation roadmap that the two countries can share, focusing on promoting future cooperation such as green growth and the development of high-value-added industries such as information technology. To that end, upgrading and transferring technology based on the RoK's advanced technological capabilities will be one of the important fields.

It is necessary to have official information exchange channels to help minimize false and negative information related to economic issues and multicultural families, and increase positive information to enhance mutual understanding, he said.

In cooperation towards the future, the role of the young generation of the two countries is very important, contributing to promoting the bilateral relationship. Therefore, supporting the development of the Vietnamese language and Vietnamese studies is also important in promoting further interest in this language and Vietnamese people in the RoK, Beak added.

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