Southeast Asian missions in Islamabad celebrate ASEAN Day
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar while addressing a reception marking the 55th Anniversary of the Association of the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) paid rich tributes to the South-East Asian countries for putting aside their internal differences and building a prosperous future for their people.
While congratulating Chairman of the ASEAN Committee Islamabad (ACI) Ambassador of Vietnam Nguyen Tien Phong and ambassadors and high commissioners of the member countries, the minister said ASEAN demonstrated how regions could come together for the collective good, stability and prosperity. It also demonstrates the huge viable economic potential of Asia, she said.
The event was attended by the heads of the missions and representatives of ASEAN member countries, nationals, Additional Secretary (Asia & Pacific), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, US Ambassador Donald Blome, ambassadors, diplomats and notable personalities of the town.
There were stalls set up by the ASEAN members reflecting their countries’ rich trade, tourism, culture and heritage, etc.
The minister of state reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to enhance and deepen the existing relationship with ASEAN at all levels and in all areas of cooperation as well as bilateral trade.
She pointed out that Pakistan’s relations with ASEAN went back to early 1990s and the country was accorded the sectoral dialogue status of ASEAN at the 26th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on 23 July 1993 followed by the inaugural meeting of the ASEAN-Pakistan Sectoral Dialogue Relations on 5-7 November 1997 in Islamabad.
She hoped soon Pakistan would get a permanent dialogue partnership status. Pakistan-ASEAN relations have continued to grow, adding that Pakistan attaches great importance to this relationship. “We wish to expand and deepen our existing relationship in the region through enhanced engagement at all levels and in all areas of cooperation,” she said. She said that Pakistan gives importance to its relations with ASEAN states by posturing bilateral trade.
This, indeed, calls for celebration, she said while referring to the successful completion of 55 years and congratulated the Chairman of the ASEAN Committee Islamabad (ACI) Ambassador of Vietnam Nguyen Tien Phong on the historic occasion.
Earlier, dressed in their national outfits, members of the ACI— Ambassador of Indonesia, Adam M. Tugio, Ambassador of Myanmar Win Myint, Ambassador of Thailand Chakkrid Krachaiwong, High Commissioner of Brunei Darrussalam Abdul Mubdi Osman, Acting High Commissioner of Malaysia, Deddy Faisal and Chargé d’Affaires of the Philippines, Maria Agnes M Cervantes—received the guests and served them with the typical ASEAN states’ generosity and warmth. They were led by Chairman of the ACI Ambassador of Vietnam Nguyen Tien Phong who
While welcoming the guests, Chairman of the ASEAN Committee, Vietnam Ambassador Nguyen Tien said ASEAN had turned into a community, encompassing political security and social/ cultural bearers. “Responding to the regional and international developments, it is our unity in diversity,” he said.
ASEAN is enjoying friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with Pakistan, said he adding the two sides were making efforts to further deepen the existing relations and cooperation in all areas, including political, cultural, science and technology, education, training, and specifically trade and investment.
Currently, the trade volume between Pakistan and ASEAN countries is $11 billion in the fiscal year 2022, adding that this volume will continue to increase rapidly in the coming years because of the ASEAN-FTA and the economic policies of Pakistan’s government. “This will create a favourable atmosphere for trade between the two sides to exploit the huge potential between ASEAN and Pakistan,” he added.
Since 8th August 1967 when ASEAN was established in Bangkok, Thailand the Association witnessed and successfully responded, overcame many difficulties and challenges, and has been growing from strength to strength, developing itself in all fields and pillars, he said.
Later, the guests enjoyed cultural performances by the Indonesian, Malaysian and the Thai artists. They were also served with mouth-watering ASEAN food like Onde onde (rice balls), Satay something like seekh kabab/tikka and Rendang, (similar to our chicken karahi).