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Asean envoys mark bloc’s 50th anniversary

by August 8, 2017 General

Asean envoys mark bloc’s 50th anniversary

 09 Aug 2017 – 2:12

Asean envoys mark bloc’s 50th anniversary

Thailand Ambassador and ACD Chairman Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum (fourth right), Ibrahim Fakhroo, Director of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (fourth left) and other Asean ambassadors in the traditional Asean handshake during celebrations of the bloc’s 50th anniversary at Thailand Embassy yesterday. Pic: Baher Amin / The Peninsula

The 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) was celebrated with a flag-raising ceremony at the Embassy of Thailand yesterday.
Ibrahim Fakhroo, Director of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined the ambassadors of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, guests from the business sector, Asean community and local media to mark the occasion.
Thailand Ambassador Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum, who is Chairman of the Asean Committee in Doha (ACD), traced Asean’s endeavours in the past five decades in various fields and its growth as an organisation.
“Today, Asean is more resilient, not only becoming stronger to meet with the new challenges but also forging itself to the next level of cooperation as a community. Asean is also ready to contribute more to the world’s peace and prosperity. Asean’s resolve to cooperate with external partners has made Asean a strong, trusted, and unbiased broker,” said the ambassador.
He stressed that politically, Asean had successfully promoted dialogue and cooperation for peace and security, while economically, it had played an important role contributing to growth and prosperity in the region.
“Today, Asean with a population of 622 million is collectively the third largest economy in Asia and the seventh in the world, with a combined GDP of $2.6trillion. It has attracted more than $120bn in foreign direct investment.”
“With its extensive webs of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) such as Asean plus one, with major economies in the region, and an increasing investment in infrastructure and human resources, Asean is poised to become one of the growth areas supporting the emergence of the Asian Century,” he said.
As it enters the sixth decade, he said Asean is now embarking upon the formation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which will include 16 countries in the region, covering more than 45 percent of the world population with $21 trillion of combined GDP and 40 percent of global trade.