[ASEAN-Korea summit] S. Korea to seeks more cultural exchange with ASEAN

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Nov 25, 2019 - 15:06
  • Updated : Nov 25, 2019 - 15:08

President Moon Jae-in on Monday vowed to push for the mutual prosperity of Korea and ASEAN member states through cultural exchange, stressing the importance of cultural content in an event held on the sidelines of the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in Busan.

Speaking at the ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit at Bexco, Moon praised the power of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc’s cultural content, and its potential to extend further into the world. He also pointed out how Hallyu that kicked off in the 1990s has propelled Korea to become an international powerhouse in cultural contents, with $10 billion of exports in such content in the last year alone.

“Asia was where Hallyu started. Asia connected with the Korean contents before anyone else did, and ASEAN was at the very center of it all. ... Cultural content is the most prominent industry of today. Upon the cultural identity of the same root (as ASEAN), South Korea will now be the companion for ASEAN cultural contents,” Moon said.

“When ASEAN meets with South Korea, ASEAN’s culture can become a global culture. I suggested that we move from ‘K-Culture’ to ‘ASEAN-Culture.’”

Moon also said that he plans to make the forum a regular event, which would be a “platform of cultural exchange that contributes to mutual understanding and friendship of the future generation” between South Korea and ASEAN countries.

Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Si-hyuk speaks at the ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit held at Bexco in Busan, Monday. (Yonhap)

The forum was devoted to discussing the importance of cultural content in this era. Taking the podium as the first speaker, K-pop producer Bang Si-hyuk discussed how having good content allowed BTS to grow as a global phenomenon, or to become the “Beatles of the YouTube era,” as he put it.

“All contents are a form of speech -- important thing is how much it is universal and can resonate within a generation,” he said. “The good content of today is both that form of speech which is so universal that everyone can feel it is about them, and also a speech that appeals to a specific group.”

Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, speaks at the ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit held at Bexco in Busan, Monday. (Yonhap)

Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, spoke about how the world is connected through stories that “develop shared understanding of the world.” He stressed how technology enables art and culture, and how a melding of technologies had enable Netflix to take off over the past two decades.

“We’ve seen how great stories can come from everywhere and anywhere,” he said, taking the example of “Kingdom,” a TV drama made in Korea by Koreans and “Okja” by Korean director Bong Joon-ho that was received all around the world. Both were made for Netflix. Hastings went on to say that his company plans more collaborations with content creators from Asia.

Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar kicked off the second part of the forum, during which participants listened to SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho, animator and film director Pierre Coffin -- best known for all four films in the “Despicable Me” franchise -- and Brian Chow, founder and CEO of Idea Music Entertainment Group.

Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha were among some 600 government officials and businesspeople attending the forum.

By Yoon Min-sik (