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S. Korea, 5 ASEAN members sign MOU on development assistance

According to Yonhap News,

By Kim Seung-yeon BUSAN, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and five member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Monday on boosting development cooperation in education, smart cities and other fields, Seoul's aid agency said.

The MOU, signed with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam, aims to expand official development assistance (ODA) in the five countries under five flagship programs designed by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), KOICA said in a release.

The signing took place on the margins of the special summit between leaders of South Korea and ASEAN partners being held in Busan to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their dialogue relations.

The programs focus on forging digital partnerships for inclusive development, providing assistance for higher education and establishing smart cities and transportation, the aid agency said.

The programs are designed based on the New Southern Policy, a key policy initiative pushed for by the Moon Jae-in government that seeks to deepen economic and other ties with ASEAN members and India.

During the ceremony, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha emphasized the expansion of bilateral cooperation between Korea and ASEAN over the last three decades and expressed hope for continued cooperation in development to contribute to strengthening peace and prosperity in the region.

In response, Vietnam's Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said Korea has become a key reliable partner and a contributor to reducing the development gap in the ASEAN community, voicing hope for joint efforts to further boost friendship toward co-prosperity.

Over 300 participants, including senior government officials of Korea and ASEAN, attended Monday's event.

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Source: Yonhap News (Nov.25, 2019)

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