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Science ministers of ASEAN+3 gather in Daejeon

Science ministers from South Korea, China and Japan, as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, met in Daejeon on Tuesday to discuss ways to form a network of cooperation in science and technology and boost personnel exchanges.

The ASEAN+3 ministerial meeting took place on the sidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development meeting for science and technology. South Korea has invited ASEAN members to seek shared growth among different regions.

 "Science and technology have fueled economic development in ASEAN, China, Japan and Korea, and will continue to do so in the future," Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Choi Yang-hee said in a speech.

"ASEAN member states and the governments of China, Japan and Korea have all displayed commitment and leadership in promoting science and technology development," Choi said.

"Today's forum is an opportunity to share past efforts and achievements and explore ways to accelerate ASEAN's science and technology development," he added.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria echoed the view, adding that the ASEAN members have been playing a greater role in the global economy, especially in the ICT segments, such as computers and electronics.

"Cooperation is in the OECD's genes. Actually, it's in our name. We promote cooperation in development. We work with 34 member countries but with over a 140 non-member countries in most policies, in economics, social, environmental, good governance, sharing experiences and good solutions," Gurria said.

At the meeting, the participants will discuss ways to forge deeper ties among South Korea, ASEAN members, China and Japan for joint technology developments.

The discussions will also be reflected in the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology gathering slated for November in Laos.

Participants also voiced hope for the ASEAN+3 gathering.

"We can share our experiences, and I think the discussions will be very useful in understanding what each individual countries are doing," said Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Science and Technology of Thailand. "We can table of number of initiatives we can cooperate (on) in the future."

Yuko Harayama, a delegate from Japan, echoed the view, adding that the meeting will become a great opportunity to share Asian values with other developed countries in the science realm.

"We have to share at the Asian level the big trend from the OECD, which is to promote innovation from all," Harayama said. "It is easier (to achieve such a goal) among Asian countries because we have a similar cultural root in some sense."

"It is important to grow together in innovation and transforming society. It is different from European country and America. We have this value in this root," Harayama said, adding it is significant to develop a growth model coming from ASEAN nations.

Mohamad Nasir, an Indonesian delegate, added his country wishes to forge deeper ties with South Korea especially in information and communication.

During the meeting, South Korea proposed that different countries must join forces in coping with global issues such as climate change by having a sense of citizenship.

The ASEAN members spend lower portions of their respective gross domestic product on research and development, Seoul said, adding other countries should also make efforts to help the region invest more in science and technology. 

The OECD Ministerial Meeting Daejeon 2015, World Science & Technology Forum began Monday in Daejeon, a city packed with science institutes, located 164 kilometers south of Seoul, for a five-day run.

Under the theme "Creating our common future through science, technology, and innovation," the OECD gathering has brought together around 3,000 visitors from 57 countries and 12 international organizations, including ministerial-level government delegates and scholars. (Yonhap)

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