By Darryl John Esguerra
In her speech at the closing ceremony of the Asean-Korea Train Tour, an official side event for the Asean-Korea commemorative summit next month, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha announced that her country wants to “do more” in advancing the Asean-Korea partnership.
“Korea is planning to more than double the number of scholarships granted to Asean students from the current 280 to 700 by the year 2022,” Kang said Friday.
Korea’s top diplomat also expressed her government’s plan to “expand capacity building programs for the future generations with Korea’s abundant experiences in human resources development.”
Since taking office in May 2017, Korean President Moon Jae-in has been pushing for his “New Southern Policy” which aims to deepen economic and diplomatic cooperation with the Asean bloc, an increasingly crucial partner due to its growth potential, rich resources, and the growing geopolitical influence.
Last year, Asean became the 2nd largest trading partner for Seoul which totaled to $160 billion.
The 10-member state bloc also became the 3rd largest investment partner of Korea in 2018, totaling to $6.1 billion.