By Invitation

Three ways to improve Asean-South Korea ties

Have a longer-term mindset, upgrade the FTA and encourage more private sector business ties. It's a good time to improve ties, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in's visit to Singapore from July 11 to 13.


Many people in Asean have great admiration for South Korea. They remember that the country had been destroyed by the 1950-1953 Korean War. The country was dirt poor. Some American pundits had even described it as a basket case. Undaunted by the challenges, South Korea has performed an economic miracle.

Today, South Korea is a developed country with a high-income economy. It is the world's 11th largest economy by nominal gross domestic product. It is the world's fifth largest exporter and the eighth largest importer. It ranks No. 18 in the United Nations Human Development Index.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2018, with the headline 'Three ways to improve Asean-South Korea ties'. Subscribe