A sequence of events marking the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Day were held by its committee in Ottawa, Canada on August 13.

The staff of seven embassies and representative agencies of the bloc’s members attended the festivities, which included a flag hoisting ceremony, reception and banquet.

Opening the event, the incumbent head of the committee, Myanmar’s Ambassador to Canada Hau Do Suan, recapped the establishment and development of the association as well as its member countries over the past 40 years. He also described the great progress in ASEAN-Canada ties.

Canadian diplomats were also in attendance and Suan said that the ASEAN Day events would raise local awareness of the Southeast Asian region and its goals. He said the celebrations would also benefit the bloc’s members and the opportunity for them to meet would be an important contribution to the continued peace, stability and development of the region and its international partners.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the country’s ties with ASEAN have reached new heights in recent years, adding that Canada now prioritises the region in its external policies in the fields of foreign affairs, trade, economics, culture and education.

To boost trade and investment cooperation, Canada’s International Trade Minister Ed Fast will attend the upcoming ASEAN Economic Ministerial Meeting scheduled for August 20-21 in Brunei and hold discussions with the Canada-ASEAN Business Council, added Baird.-VNA