Asean-Korea summit to open door for innovation

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Asean-Korea summit to open door for innovation


Above; A rendering of an Asean booth for the 2019 Asean-Republic of Korea Smart City Fair, which will be held between Nov. 25 and 27 at Bexco in Busan. Right; A poster for the Asean-Republic of Korea CEO Summit. [BEXCO, ministry of Trade, industry and energy]

With 10 days to go until the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit, the meeting, originally designed to celebrate the multilateral partnership, is poised to serve as an essential conference on innovation, digital transformation and other fast-growing industries in the region.

President Moon Jae-in has hailed the event, slated for Nov. 25-27 in Busan, as an important avenue for the New Southern Policy initiative that aims to boost engagement in diplomatic and economic relations.

Nearly 10 sessions are lined up to delve into subjects such as the development of start-ups, smart cities and beauty trends in Korea, providing a rare opportunity for business leaders from Korea and Asean member countries to share ideas and build networks.

Established in 1967, Asean is made up of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Innovative growth

At the center of the summit is a celebration of the successful cooperation between the two sides in emerging technologies. A wide range of platforms and services jointly developed by 40 companies from across Asean and Korea will be put on display at the Asean-Republic of Korea Innovation Showcase 2019.

The showcase will highlight new growth sectors such as smart farming, renewable energy, electric vehicles, hydrogen cars and connected home appliances and health care devices.


Above left; A level 4 autonomous car developed by the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement to be displayed at the smart city fair. Above right; A replica of K-city, a testing base for autonomous cars located in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi. Right; A poster for the Commemorative Ceremony for the 2019 International Development Cooperation Day. [KOREA AGENCY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENT, KOICA]

The session, held at Bexco, will bring together the president, Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo, Kwon Pyung-oh, head of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, and the leaders of the 40 companies and institutions.

Another event — dubbed Asean-Republic of Korea Startup Expo, ComeUp 2019 — will sum up the achievements of successful start-ups in Korea and across the Asean nations and deliver pitches from new players in the tech business landscape.

Speakers at the event include Chang Byung-gyu, chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Founders and leading figures from unicorn start-ups, whose value is estimated at over $1 billion, will share their experiences, including Andrew Lee, head of international at Jakarta-based Gojek, Jung Sang-yeop, a director at Coupang, and Fajrin Rasyid, founder of Indonesian e-commerce firm Bukalapak.

The potential impact that drones and other platform businesses will have will be examined by Kamarul A Muhamad, CEO & co-founder at Aerodyne Group, a Malaysia-based drone service provider, and Langda Chea, founder and CEO at BookMeBus, a Cambodia-based transit ticketing platform.

Seeking business and investment opportunities, 21 start-ups in the early stages of operation will demonstrate their vision and services to a group of investors on the sidelines of the event.

Invited companies include Morakot Technology from Malaysia, Cyber Army Indonesia from Indonesia, ChatbotVietnam from Vietnam and LabSD and Teuida from Korea.

The concept of smart city will be the focus of the Asean-Republic of Korea Smart City Fair, which will be held at the Park Hyatt Busan and Bexco from Nov. 25 through 27.

Smart city refers to a city that incorporates information and communication technologies to enhance the quality and performance of urban services. Presided over by Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mee, a ministerial-level meeting will discuss the up-to-date developments of smart cities in Asean member states and Korea and joint efforts to enhance technological advancement for urban cities.

At the fair, all 10 Asean countries will showcase their 26 smart cities in a booth, while separate pavilions will display Korea’s smart city technology in operation in Busan and Sejong.

The Sejong booth, run by Korea Land and Housing, will introduce clean energy bus stations and virtual dressing rooms.

K-Water, a state-run water provider, will show how it uses the latest technology, such as augmented reality, to better manage water resources.

The Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement, a research institute, will bring an autonomous car to the fair.

A new phase of trade and investment

Industry heavyweights will gather at the Asean-Republic of Korea CEO Summit on Nov. 25 to discuss trade relations and industrial cooperation between Korea and Asean.

The discussion could be particularly relevant at a time when the U.S.-China trade war clouds global trade prospects.

With over 500 participants including company representatives and Korean economic leaders, the opening speech will be delivered by Park Yong-maan, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The following sessions will bring together Jim Rogers, CEO of Beeland Enterprises, Jung Hun-taek, vice president of Hyundai Motor, and Joe Studwell, a journalist focusing on Asian economics, as presenters, alongside the chairmen of the chambers of commerce and industry from Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Another area of focus is investment. At Invest Asean, officials from investment board agencies will pitch the competiveness of their respective nations as investment destinations.

The heads or ranking officials of the investment offices from the 10 Asean nations are scheduled to deliver speeches on the financial climate in each country between Nov. 25 and 26 at Bexco.

The Korea Grand Sourcing Fair 2019 is an opportunity for smaller Korean enterprises to show off goods they hope to export to Asean. The event, slated for Nov. 25 and 26 in the exhibition hall, is designed to connect 100 foreign buyers with 600 Korean small- and medium-sized companies.

MDB Project Plaza 2019, due to take place between Nov. 25 and 26, will explore projects funded by international development banks such as the Asia Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Those banks are considered multilateral development banks as they fund projects in infrastructure, energy, education, environmental sustainability and other areas that promote development with favorable loans and grants.

A total of 80 related institutions and companies will attend the event.

K-beauty festival

As cosmetics products have emerged as one of Korea’s key export items, especially to the Asean nations, the Asean-Republic of Korea K-Beauty Festival will be devoted to introducing the latest high-tech cosmetics and providing experience zones for best-selling items.

Hosted by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the beauty festival will be focused on promoting products from around 40 smaller cosmetics makers based in Korea.

A separate zone will feature cosmetics items with ingredients originating from Asean countries.

AmorePacific will also run a booth to showcase its main product lines and cooperation with other cosmetics makers.

Another booth will be designed to present advanced technologies in the beauty industry, such as 3-D printing for facial masks and high-tech skin care tools.

Both President Moon and first lady Kim Jung-sook are scheduled to visit the cosmetics-focused event, along with the SMEs minister and approximately a thousand participants.


One of the main themes of the Asean-Republic of Korea summit is co-prosperity between nations.

As Korea has transformed from a recipient country of official development assistance to a significant donor, an event will explore Korea’s development cooperation policies with Asean.

At the Commemorative Ceremony for the 2019 International Development Cooperation Day in Korea on Nov. 25, Korea will push for a memorandum of understating to further cooperation with the Asean nations.

Foreign Affairs Minister Kang Kyung-hwa will sign the agreement with her counterparts from six Asean nations, and 200 people from related government agencies, civic groups and institutions are scheduled to take part in the ceremony.

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