The celebration of ASEAN's 49th founding anniversary (Source: voh.com.vn)
HCM City (VNA) – The Vietnam Union of Friendship Orgnisations (VUFO) and the Vietnam-Southeast Asia Association in Ho Chi Minh City (VSAA-HCMC) held a meeting on August 10 to mark the 49th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (August 8).

Addressing the event, VSAA-HCMC Chairwoman Phan Thi Hong Xuan described ASEAN as a peaceful region with a population of over 600 million and a united economy that has extensively integrated into the global economy.

ASEAN is also a dynamic region boasting a lot of development opportunities and potential, she said, highlighting the group’s achievements over the past nearly half a century despite a range of challenges.

Stressing the strength of solidarity which has been proven through ASEAN’s formation and development, Xuan called on ASEAN member countries to join hands to promote the group’s central role in the region and strengthen the intra-bloc solidarity in a bid to promote their shared and legitimate interests in the context of complicated recent regional and global developments.

On behalf of diplomatic corps from ASEAN member countries, Lao Consul General in HCM City Somxay Sana-Oune said ASEAN has become a close-knit political and economic entity that plays an important role in ensuring regional peace, stability and cooperation.

ASEAN is an indispensible partner of many big countries and orgnisations worldwide, he added.

The ASEAN Community’s formation in late 2015 is an historical breakthrough for the group’s economic integration, helping it become a competitive and integrated region, the official said.

Apart from enhancing wide-ranging cooperation between its member countries, ASEAN has, to date, expanded collaboration with 17 partners outside.

As ASEAN Chair 2016, Laos and other member countries are actively implementing the ASEAN Vision 2025 and developing other plans to tighten their affiliation and promote the group’s position and role in the region and the world, Somxay Sana-Oune said.

The official called on the countries to team up with each other in building master programmes, plans and roadmaps to materialise the vision.-VNA