The embassies of the 10 ASEAN member states in Russia held an ASEAN Day in Moscow on October 31 with the aim of consolidating the bloc’s unity.

Bruneian Ambassador Haini Hashim, who is currently Chairman of the ASEAN Committee in Russia for a six-month tenure, affirmed the major role of ASEAN in building and developing a peaceful and stable Southeast Asian region.

2014 marks 10 years since the bloc and Russia signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, he said, adding that the two sides have continuously developed the mutually-benefited relationship in such fields as culture, science, education, tourism and economics.

Over the past five years, two-way trade enjoyed a three-fold increase, from 6.8 billion USD in 2009 to nearly 20 billion USD in 2013. Russia’s direct investment in ASEAN rose fourfold, from 140 million USD to 542 million USD.-VNA