Towards Closer Cooperation with South Korea in the Indo-Pacific




09:00 a.m. (CET)


10:15 a.m. (CET)

  • With the administration of President Yoon Suk-yeol moving ever closer to embracing the Indo-Pacific as a strategic space, the scope widens for closer collaboration between the European Union and Germany on the one hand and the Republic of Korea on the other. Both the EU and Germany are implementing inclusive strategies for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. South Korea is a very suitable partner for such cooperation given that it is one of the few liberal democracies in the Indo-Pacific and a champion of multilateralism. The Republic of Korea is also home to the world’s tenth-largest economy. South Korean companies manufacture high-tech products, including advanced semiconductors, making them critical partners in the quest for more resilient supply chains.

    This GIGA Talk will share findings from a collaborative, Korea Foundation-sponsored research project between the GIGA and the East Asia Institute in Seoul "Engaging the Indo-Pacific: German and Korean Perspectives on Regional Cooperation." We will first take stock of the achievements, especially in the economic arena, on which closer collaboration between Seoul, Berlin, and Brussels in the Indo-Pacific and beyond can build. We argue that more can be done in the political and strategic realms, including joint efforts to revive multilateralism and intensifying exchange on regional security issues. South Korea’s central location in the East Asian region, its alliance with the United States, and its rich but ambivalent ties with China make the country a particularly interesting partner for in-depth cooperation on issues of strategic and indeed global importance.

    Speakers:  Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner is Vice President of the GIGA, Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies, and a Professor at the Universität Hamburg.

    Dr. Johannes Plagemann is a Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies.

    Dr. Christian Wirth is a Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies.

    Discussants: Prof. Dr. Yul Sohn is President of the East Asia Institute, a Professor at Yonsei University, and Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seoul.

    Prof. Dr. Sook Jong Lee is President Emeritus and Senior Fellow of the East Asia Institute and a Professor at Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul.

    Prof. Dr. Chaesung Chun is Chair of the National Security Center of the East Asia Institute, a Professor at Seoul National University, and Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seoul.

    Ambassador Dr. Martin Thümmel is Deputy Director General for East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific at the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin.

    Moderator: Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig is a Senior Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies and Editor of the GIGA Focus Asia, as well as Chair for East Asian Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main.


    Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

    Lead Research Fellow / Head GIGA Berlin Office Editor GIGA Focus Latin America


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    We offer our events digitally or in hybrid setting. We monitor the current pandemic situation and act accordingly. We look forward to your participation.

    Research Project | 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2022

    Engaging the Indo-Pacific: German and Korean Perspectives on Regional Cooperation

    A policy-oriented research project bringing together the GIGA and the East Asia Institute in Seoul. The project aims at analysing German/EU and Korean strategies for Indo-Pacific engagement and identifying areas for in-depth consultation, coordination and cooperation.
    Korea Foundation, 2022

    Prof. Dr. Sook-Jong Lee

    Prof. Dr. Yul Sohn

    Prof. Dr. Chaesung Chun

    Lecture Series | 30/11/2022

    Franco-German Observatory of the Indo-Pacific

    The Franco-German Observatory invites key actors from the Indo-Pacific to discuss questions of a strategic nature, of economic interdependence and independence, and the expectations the countries of the Indo-Pacific might have towards the “West”. Upcoming talk by Hasan Alhasan.


    Multilateralism and global institutions are under severe challenge. We investigate the causes and repercussions of these problems, provide theoretical and empirical analyses of different institutions, and contribute to policy and public debates on reform.


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