The 2nd Forum of Entities Associated with ASEAN convenes in Jakarta, Indonesia on October 15. (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Over 80 participants from 40 entities gathered at the ASEAN Secretariat’s headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia on October 15 for the 2nd Forum of Entities Associated with ASEAN.

The forum aimed to encourage discussion on future projects and enhance collaboration between the entities and ASEAN sectorial bodies and among the entities themselves in order to strengthen the regional integration efforts.

It was also an opportunity to discuss the ASEAN sectorial bodies’ workplans and ASEAN centres’ focus, aims and challenges towards the realisation of the ASEAN Vision 2025.

“This may help form ideas of which areas of work to tap into, as well as insights on how to align your own workplan with the ASEAN Vision 2025. This is important because the realization of the ASEAN Vision 2025 cannot be done by the governments alone. More bottom-up approaches and initiatives should be cultivated in line with commitments from the top,” said Secretary General of ASEAN Lim Jock Hoi in his welcome remarks at the event.

“We all play a valuable role in strengthening our ASEAN Community (…) I think all of us here share the wish to bring positive impacts to our fellow ASEAN citizens,” he added.

Director of the ASEAN Secretariat’s Community Affairs Directorate Lee Yoong Yoong said the forum is among projects for the ASEAN Community that provides a good opportunity to forge a better understanding of culture, society and economy of ASEAN member states.

Le Nguyen Tue Hang, Vice Provost of Duy Tan University from Vietnam, noted her university is one of five universities co-founding the “Passage to ASEAN (P2A),” offering regional students a chance to meet and get to know each other’s cultures.

Every year, the Passage to ASEAN hosted hundreds of exchanges between 82 universities within the P2A network, she said, adding that students could explore the culture of the host country and had an internship opportunity at a business in an ASEAN member nation.

At the forum, participants shared their experience, including collaboration with stakeholders, within and outside ASEAN, discussed updates and priorities of the ASEAN Community, and promote a broader engagement of entities in realising ASEAN Community Vision.-VNA