Festival in Switzerland marks 50th ASEAN anniversary hinh anh 1Illustrative image. (Photo: ASEAN SAS)

Genev​a (VNA) – The 2017 ASEAN Festival has taken place in the capital city of Berne, Switzerland, introducing to local people a variety of traditional dishes and folk performances from ASEAN member states.

The event was intended to commemorate the 50th ASEAN founding anniversary with Vietnamese Ambassador to Switzerland Pham Hai Bang and diplomats from ASEAN nations and the host country in attendance.

In his opening remarks on September 23, Joselito A. Jimeno, Ambassador of the Philippines, the Chair of ASEAN for 2017, gave a brief overview of ASEAN and its milestones since its establishment five decades ago and highlighted the development of the ASEAN-Switzerland relations.

Switzerland has become an ASEAN sectoral dialogue partner since last year, he said, adding that the ASEAN Committee in Berne was launched in mid-September, gathering diplomatic representative agencies of ASEAN countries in the city.

Welcoming the opening of the event, Johannes Matyassy from the Swiss Foreign Ministry, said the festival contributed to increase the mutual understanding between people of ASEAN and Switzerland.

He congratulated the group on its achievements over the past 50 years and highly spoke of its significant role not only in Asia but also in the world. Switzerland recognises ASEAN’s important role in promoting regional peace, security and economic integration, he stated.

It was the first time the ASEAN Festival opened in Berne. Visitors to the event had an opportunity to know more about the bloc through traditional cuisine, martial arts and folk dance performances from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. -VNA