S. Korea aims to grant more scholarships to Asean students

Students wait to take their college entrance exams at an exam hall in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. About 590,000 high school seniors and graduates across the country take the College Scholarship Ability Test which was rescheduled for Thursday after an earth quake hit Pohang city on Nov. 15. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL (Philippinne Daily Inquirer/ANN) — South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha announced that her country wants to “do more” in advancing the Asean-Korea partnership.

As part of its bid to strengthen bilateral ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the South Korean government is banking on people-to-people exchange and is planning to “more than double” the number of its scholarship grants to Asean students.

In her speech at the closing ceremony of the Asean-Korea Train Tour, an official side event for the Asean-Korea commemorative summit next month, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha announced that her country wants to “do more” in advancing the Asean-Korea partnership.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha delivered her congratulatory speech at the closing ceremony of the Asean-Korea Train Tour, an official side event for the Asean-Korea Commemorative Summit next month.

“Korea is planning to more than double the number of scholarships granted to Asean students from the current 280 to 700 by the year 2022,” Kang said Friday.

Korea’s top diplomat also expressed her government’s plan to “expand capacity building programs for the future generations with Korea’s abundant experiences in human resources development.”

Since taking office in May 2017, Korean President Moon Jae-in has been pushing for his “New Southern Policy” which aims to deepen economic and diplomatic cooperation with the Asean bloc, an increasingly crucial partner due to its growth potential, rich resources, and the growing geopolitical influence.

Last year, Asean became the 2nd largest trading partner for Seoul which totaled to $160 billion.

The 10-member state bloc also became the 3rd largest investment partner of Korea in 2018, totaling to $6.1 billion.

By Darryl John Esguerra