President Moon Jae-in has set out his plans to expand economic ties with member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN. 
 
Meeting with 500 business leaders from the ten ASEAN countries in Manila on Monday, the South Korean president introduced the plan.
 
During the Business Investment Summit, Moon said South Korea will improve its ties with ASEAN members to the level of its relations with the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.
 
The president said he will visit all ten ASEAN member states before his presidency ends, and also send special envoys to key members of the regional bloc. 
 
Moon also said Seoul will double the amount of its contribution to the South Korea-ASEAN fund, from seven million dollars a year to 14 million by 2019.
 
The president stressed that participation and interaction between citizens and the private sector is crucial to strengthening diplomatic, security and economic cooperation. 
 
He pointed to core areas of cooperation: transportation, energy, water management and smart information and communication, pledging to scale up funding for those areas.

The president was set to attend the South Korea-ASEAN summit scheduled on Monday afternoon.