ASEAN officials, Ambassadors of ASEAN member states to France and French officials hold hands in a group photo (Source: VNA)

Paris (VNA) – A ceremony was held in Paris on October 16 to mark the 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 40 years of dialogue partnership between the bloc and the European Union (EU).

Speaking at the event, ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh said the five- decade development has helped ASEAN achieve unprecedented economic growth and turn Southeast Asian into one of the most dynamic regions in the world.

Minh stressed that the ASEAN-EU partnership has expanded rapidly, covering a range of fields such as politics, security, economy, society and culture, adding that the EU always backs the bloc’s efforts to build the ASEAN Community.

The two sides have shared visions in approaching global matters, such as sustainable growth and climate change, and approved the ASEAN-EU Action Plan for 2018-2022, the official noted.

The same day, an ASEAN economic forum was organised at the headquarters of the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF) in Paris.

President of MEDEF International Frédéric Sanchez highly evaluated the positions of ASEAN member countries in global trade and growing partnership between MEDEF and the bloc.

He expected the forum will open up more opportunities for France-ASEAN trade.

France is now an important partner of ASEAN with two-way trade increased to 28 billion USD in 2016 from 26 billion USD in 2015.-VNA