President Moon Jae-in (sixth from left in first row) on Nov. 26 poses for a photo with the leaders from the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit, a side event of the 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit. From left in the first row are Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Bruneian Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, President Moon, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. (2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit)

President Moon Jae-in (sixth from left in first row) on Nov. 26 poses for a photo with the leaders from the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit, a side event of the 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit. From left in the first row are Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Bruneian Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, President Moon, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. (2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit)

By Oh Hyun Woo and Kim Hwaya

President Moon Jae-in on Nov. 26 stressed that startups will revive the future of Korea and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Attending the ASEAN-ROK (Republic of Korea) Startup Summit at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO), the venue of the 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit, he said the concept of the “innovative startup country” is part of Korea’s national political agenda. Thus Seoul is speeding up its fostering of tech startups through a strategy to spread a second venture boom and a vision for innovative finance, he added.

Mentioning the unicorn company Revolution Precrafted of the Philippines, Grab of Singapore and BookMeBus of Cambodia as examples of innovative companies from ASEAN, President Moon highly evaluated the region’s potential.

Saying innovation has no borders, the president said, “Cooperation among nations in startup policy is necessary,” adding, “Korea and ASEAN member countries must create a unified startup ecosystem to allow unicorn companies to freely operate.”

The president also proposed on the occasion of the ASEAN-Korea summit to make the Korea-ASEAN startup expo ComeUp an annual event, jointly devise a mid- to long-term road map for startups and hold a meeting of startup ministers.

Approximately 400 people attended the ASEAN-ROK Startup Summit including President Moon, ASEAN heads of state, CEOs of unicorn companies and promising startups, global investors and startup-related representatives from governments, public institutions and companies.

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