Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (2nd from left) at the 16th ASEAN-China Summit. (MCI Photo by Chwee)
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore attended the 16th ASEAN-Japan Summit, the 16th ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Summit, the 16th ASEAN-China Summit, and the inaugural ASEAN-United States (US) Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam today.
The 16th ASEAN-Japan Summit reviewed existing areas of cooperation under the ASEAN-Japan Plan of Action 2011-2015 to implement the Joint Declaration for Enhancing ASEAN-Japan Strategic Partnership for Prospering Together, and welcomed Japan’s contributions towards ASEAN’s Community-building efforts, particularly in the areas of youth exchanges and scholarships. The Leaders also acknowledged the importance of concluding the outstanding chapters on trade in services and investment of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) as a fitting celebration of the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan relations, and looked forward to attending the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in Tokyo in December 2013.
The 16th ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Summit reviewed the progress of the ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action to implement the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity 2011-2015, and discussed ways to further strengthen ASEAN-ROK relations. The Leaders agreed to further liberalise and increase two-way trade volume between ASEAN and the ROK. The Leaders also welcomed the ROK’s hosting of a Commemorative Summit in 2014 to mark the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-ROK dialogue relations.
The 16th ASEAN-China Summit reaffirmed the strong and multi-faceted relationship between both sides. A Joint Statement on Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership was issued to mark the milestone. Both sides tasked their officials to commence discussions on the upgrading of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) as early as possible. The ASEAN Leaders appreciated China’s support of ASEAN unity and centrality in the regional architecture and ASEAN’s Community-building efforts. The Leaders welcomed the progress on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) as well as the start of official consultations on the Code of Conduct (COC) in September 2013. They emphasised the importance of building on the momentum of these official consultations to contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.
The ASEAN Leaders met US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was representing President Barack Obama, during the inaugural ASEAN-US Summit chaired by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. The Leaders emphasised the importance of sustaining the US’ multi-faceted engagement of the region. They agreed to deepen ASEAN-US relations through the implementation of key initiatives such as the Expanded Economic Engagement (E3), the US-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership, and the ASEAN-US Enhanced Partnership for Enduring Peace and Prosperity 2011-2015.
PM Lee and ROK President Park Geun-hye also had the opportunity to hold their first official bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the Summits. PM Lee and President Park reaffirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations, and looked forward to PM Lee’s official visit to the ROK in December 2013, when PM Lee and President Park would have the opportunity to further discuss ways to enhance bilateral cooperation.
Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs
9 OCTOBER 2013