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PH, Korea expand maritime ties

PH, Korea expand maritime ties
Argyll Cyrus Geducos November 27, 2019

BUSAN, South Korea – The Philippines and South Korea agreed to broaden cooperation in maritime and fisheries segment, South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced.

In a statement, South Korea’s ocean ministry said it has inked agreements with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states to broaden cooperation in the maritime and fisheries segments.

Accordingly, South Korea and the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that centers on expanding cooperation in all areas of the maritime and fisheries industries.

Under the agreement, the two countries will share information and technologies in the fisheries sector and exchange related officials to carry out joint research projects.

The two Asian countries also vowed to organize joint education programs and conferences to bring experts of the two nations together.

“This MOU has laid the foundation for all areas of Korea-Philippines oceans and fisheries cooperation,” Ocean Minister Moon Seong-hyeok said in a statement.

The agreement came during the two-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit, which kicked off in the southern port city of Busan on Monday.

In a separate deal, South Korea also signed a similar MOU with Myanmar, the world’s ninth-largest producer of fishery goods.

South Korea vowed to share its aquaculture technology with Myanmar and promote exchanges of scientists of the two countries.

In September, the ocean ministry signed another MOU with Myanmar that centers on modernizing port facilities of the Southeast Asian country.

Free trade

Meanwhile, South Korea and ASEAN also agreed to work more closely together to foster free trade and peace in Asia by elevating their strategic partnerships to a new level as Seoul declared its support for ASEAN’s view on the Indo-Pacific concept.

“South Korea and ASEAN will move toward an ‘innovative community’ of co-prosperity on the basis of free trade,” Moon said in a joint press statement with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the co-chair of the special summit.

Both leaders reaffirmed that free trade was a way for win-win growth and welcomed the recent agreement in negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and decided to protect free trade on the basis of the South Korea-ASEAN free trade agreement.

Industrial revolution

Moon also said South Korea and ASEAN agreed to team up to prepare for the fourth industrial revolution era, noting that South Korea was planning to set up “cooperation centers” in ASEAN countries on science and technology, standardization and industrial innovation.

The South Korean President also stressed that South Korea and ASEAN will make joint efforts for a “people-centered community” with expanded people-to-people and cultural exchanges.

Peace and stability

Moon and the ASEAN leaders adopted a “joint vision statement for peace, prosperity and partnership” which will serve as a framework for South Korea’s future ties with ASEAN.

They took note of ASEAN’s readiness to continue to play a constructive role in contributing to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

“[The two sides will] promote and facilitate dialogue and cooperation, including through ASEAN-led mechanisms, to support complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner,” the document read.

The two sides also agreed enhance cooperation in security areas to address traditional and nontraditional security challenges such as transnational crime, terrorism and violent extremism; and further strengthen cybersecurity cooperation in a bid to support the development of the digital economy in the region.