ASEAN-ROK Partnership: Building Resilience, Pioneering the Future
Changes in Regional Architecture and Responses to Digital Transformation
Editor: CHOI Yoon Jung
Publishing Date: May 2021
Volume: 144 pages
The region of Asia, where the Republic of Korea (ROK, hereafter referred to as Korea) and ASEAN member countries are situated, is undergoing a significant transformation mainly due to shifting power configuration between major countries. Amid these geopolitical challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world in 2020 and has accelerated the digital transformation across every aspect of our lives. In other words, at the core of this largescale transformation are the launch of the Biden administration in the U.S. and the arrival of a full-fledged digital era expedited by COVID-19.
With regards to these environmental changes, the Sejong Institute and the Korea Foundation co-organized a seminar on “ASEAN-ROK Partnership: Building Resilience, Pioneering the Future” in December 2020 in order to assess the strategic conditions in the context of power dynamics and the pandemic as well as uncover new avenues for engagement to build resilience and pioneer the future through the ASEAN-ROK partnership. After the ASEAN Summit and all related events on 12~15 November 2020, the seminar served as a very timely and relevant platform to share and develop policy suggestions that had been drawn from various meetings.
The book comprises contributions from ten distinguished experts participated in the seminar, and H.E. Lim Sungnam, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the ROK to ASEAN, granted his full support for this initiative including keynote speech and special contribution to this book. Chapter I of the book seeks to review the perceptions of Korea and ASEAN on the launch of the new U.S. administration. Chapter II examines the implications of digital transformation and the possible ways to deepen the bilateral cooperation between ASEAN and Korea. Chapter III~ Chapter V then focused on culture, education, and energy, respectively, that are closely related to our lives and affect this inter-regional relationship thusly, whether directly or indirectly.
As Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, assuming the Chairmanship of ASEAN for 2020, had stated in his welcoming remarks at the 21st ASEAN-ROK Summit on 12 November when he was the Prime Minister, we were able to overcome the countless challenges 2020 brought about through strength of community, and we will continue to build a robust partnership in years to come. We look forward to a future in which Korea actively contributes to ASEAN's community goals and becomes a companion country on equal footing with ASEAN.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the authors that have contributed their knowledge and expertise to this book, and I also express my special gratitude to the Korea Foundation for their generous support that allowed us to proceed with this endeavor. Furthermore, I deeply appreciate the dedication of Ms. Kyeong Hee Lee throughout the entire process of the seminar as well as through the publication of this book. Thank you all again for your contribution and hard work.