Korea to host multinational summit later in year

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Korea to host multinational summit later in year

The Blue House announced yesterday that the first multinational summit since President Park Geun-hye’s inauguration will be held in Korea at the end of the year with representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

The meeting of regional leaders will be held Dec. 11-12 in Busan to boost strategic partnerships with the 10 Asean member nations.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of establishment of a dialogue between Korea and Asean as well as “the first multinational conference summit hosted by the current administration,” presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook said at a briefing yesterday. “[It] will be the most important diplomatic event held by Korea this year.”

According to the Busan Metropolitan Government, the summit, to be hosted at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (Bexco), is expected to draw at least 3,500 diplomats, government officials, businessmen, press and other participants.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ special preparation committee has worked in close cooperation with Busan, and the city anticipates a strong economic boost from the event.

The summit is also expected to bolster cooperation in politics, security and economy and trade.

The two-day event will include a meeting between President Park and Asean nation representatives, as well as cultural events, exhibitions and bilateral talks.

The Asean-Korea CEO Summit will also be held on the sidelines.

Busan has six sister cities in Asean countries, the highest number of any Korean metropolitan or regional government: Indonesia’s second-largest city Surabaya; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Cebu, in the Philippines; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Myanmar’s largest city Yangon; and Thailand’s capital Bangkok. The other four Asean nations are Brunei, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore.

The special summit was proposed last October on the sidelines of the 16th Asean-Korea Summit in Brunei, during which President Park decided to hold this year’s event to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Asean-Korea Dialogue Partnership in 1989.

This will be the first Asean and Korean leaders’ summit held in Korea in five years since the Lee Myung-bak administration.

BY SARAH KIM [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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