MANILA, 26 NOVEMBER 2019 – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte returned to Manila from Busan, Republic of Korea on Tuesday evening after a productive participationin the 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Commemorative Summit.
The President and his fellow ASEAN leaders welcomed South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s “New Southern Policy,” which aims to elevate ASEAN-ROK dialoguepartnership through enhanced bilateral relations with ASEAN countries and stronger ROK involvement in ASEAN-led regional mechanisms.
President Duterte supported new initiatives on increasing trade and investments, connectivity, capacity-building for MSMEs, technical vocational education training, smart city development, and startup programs.
The President also called for more strategic and preventive collective action to address threats to regional peace and security, including terrorism and violent extremism, drug trafficking, piracy and other maritime security issues, marine conservation, and climate change-related issues.
In a special retreat session on the Korean Peninsula Issue, President Duterte stressed that there is no military solution to a fraternal conflict. Only dialogue, based on mutual trust and respect, can lead to “a Korea at peace with itself and without nuclear weapons”.
The Leaders of ASEAN and ROK adopted the Co-Chairs Statement, where they called for the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes, in accordance with international law including UNCLOS. They also stressed the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint by claimants and all other states.
The Leaders also adopted the Joint Vision Statement for Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership, which will serve as blueprint for the next thirty (30) years of dialogue relations.
At their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit,President Duterte and President Moon agreed to work towards the elevation of the Philippines-ROK bilateral relations to a strategic partnership.
President Duterte invited President Moon to undertake a State Visit to the Philippines at the soonest mutually convenient opportunity.
The two Leaders also witnessed the signing and exchange of key agreements namely, Social Security Agreement, an Implementing Program for Tourism Cooperation, and a Joint Statement on progress in the ongoing Philippine-ROK Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Agreements on education and fisheries cooperation were also signed in separate ceremonies in Busan.
The President likewise met top officials of Korean private companies to further promote the Philippines as a competitive and profitable trade and investment market.
The Philippines participated in ministerial-level side events of the Commemorative Summit notably, the ASEAN-ROK CEO Summit, ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit, 2019 ASEAN –ROK Smart City Fair, and ASEAN-ROK Exhibition on Public Service Innovation.
Socio-economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Perniarepresented the Philippines in the 2019 Development Cooperation Day, where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Development Cooperation with ROK together with four other ASEAN countries.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Añoled a delegation to the 2019 ASEAN-ROK Ministerial Roundtable on Public Service Innovation. Secretary Añopresented the country’s best practices on “Innovations in Local Governance Capacity Development for the 21stCentury.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry led Philippine private sector participants at the CEO Summit and ASEAN-ROK Business Expo 2019.