SG Speech 2019-03-20
18:30, 18 February 2019, Seoul Lotte Hotel
by H.E. Lee Hyuk, Secretary General of the ASEAN-Korea Centre
H.E. Cho Hyun, 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Korea,
Mr. Suriya Chindawongse, Chair of the Council of the ASEAN-Korea Centre,
Hon. Oh Jae-sae, Member of National Assembly,
Hon. Lee Soo-hyuck, Member of National Assembly and Chairman of the Korea-ASEAN Forum at the National Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to welcome you all to tonight’s reception.
And thank you very much for being with us.
We are gathered here tonight not only to commemorate the 11th annual meeting of the Council of the ASEAN-KOREA CENTRE, but also to congratulate its 10th anniversary.
And I am greatly honored to celebrate this very special event with you as Secretary-General of the AKC.
Over the last ten years, the AKC has been working hard to serve as a relevant and meaningful institution in enhancing the relationship between ASEAN and Korea.
And I, as its new and 4th Secretary-General, am proud to tell you that we have been making meaningful achievements.
I should also emphasize that without the strong and consistent contribution from
ASEAN member countries whose representatives are here with us tonight, the AKC could not have grown into such a robust organization as it is today.
As epitomized by the AKC’s slogan of “connecting people, sharing prosperity “, we have been trying to help make the relationship between ASEAN and Korea a close and mutually beneficial one by planning and implementing wide-ranging projects, programs and events in the areas of trade and investment, tourism and people to people exchanges and etc.
With eyes on the coming ten years, the AKC is committed to evolving into a much more solid, capable, innovative and useful organization compatible with a fast changing regional landscape.
I would like to ask for your whole-hearted support in these endeavors.
As we all know, this year also marks a historic milestone in ASEAN-Korea partnership as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-Korea dialogue relationship by holding the commemorative summit meeting in Korea.
Needless to say, ASEAN and Korea have been making a great stride in so many areas for the last thirty years. In 2018, our trade volume reached $160 billion, a quantum leap from $75 billion of 1989.
ASEAN is Korea’s third largest investment destination now with $5.3 billion of investment in 2017. ASEAN continues to be the most popular tourism destination among Koreans with 7.64 million Korean visitors in 2018.
300,000 residents from ASEAN countries constitute an important part of Korean society, contributing to making the two regions and peoples closer to each other.
Together with the “New Southern Policy” as the overarching principle in further pushing forward ties between ASEAN and Korea, the meeting of the leaders of Korea and ten ASEAN nations will usher in a new era of prosperity, cooperation and exchanges in this region.
Korea is not a major power, but it has been striving to meet and overcome numerous challenges throughout its history and became a thriving economy.
I believe that is one of the reasons why ASEAN and Korea can understand each other, feel close to each other, like each other, respect each other, learn from each other, prosper together.
In pursuit of an ever flourishing ASEAN-Korea Community, the AKC is committed to going the extra mile and working with you all.