President Moon Jae-in in a file photo provided by Cheong Wa Dae (Cheong Wa Dae)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed Tuesday that Asian countries strengthen multilateral cooperation with inclusiveness enhanced against the spread of protectionism and unilateralism.
He was delivering a video message to the 2021 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held in the Chinese province of Hainan. The conference, themed "A World in Change," has brought together Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of several other Asian nations both online and offline. Participants included senior government officials and business executives as well.
Regarding ways to bolster Asia's role and global governance in dealing with challenges facing the world, Moon stressed, "First, multilateral cooperation with inclusiveness enhanced is necessary."
Taking a protectionist and selfish approach especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may serve provisionally as a "wall" to guard domestic economies, would end up a "barrier" that blocks global economic recovery, he added.
Moon also stressed the importance of international "solidarity and cooperation" for co-existence and new prosperity in the post-coronavirus era.
He said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), signed last year, could play the role of a medium to speed up regional economic cooperation.
The president then called on Asia to respond jointly to the pandemic and reaffirmed Seoul's commitment via the Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health that was launched in 2020.
Another urgent task is fostering concerted action to address the climate problem, he said. He cited South Korea's declared goal of going carbon neural by 2050 and its Green New Deal project.
He requested support for the second P4G summit on green growth and sustainable development that is scheduled to take place in Seoul next month.
The annual BFA, usually called the Boao forum, is modeled after the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The host China says it is designed to promote dialogue and cooperation among Asian countries. It was canceled last year due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Yonhap)