The Vietnamese Consulate in Perth, Australia, and the Australian Institute of International Affairs - West Australia have recently co-hosted a discussion on the ties between ASEAN and Australia over the past 40 years and their future opportunities.

The event attracted the participation of scholars from research centres and universities, consul delegations serving in the locality, and representatives of the Foreign Ministry and West Australian business community in partnership with ASEAN-based enterprises.

It was part of activities to mark the 47th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 40th anniversary of the ASEAN-Australia dialogue partnership.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Consul General Le Viet Duyen reviewed the bloc’s course of development and its significant contributions to regional peace, security and development.

He also spoke of recent landmarks in ASEAN-Australia relations, with successes spanning over economics, politics, culture and social affairs, especially since the two sides set up their comprehensive partnership in 2007 and signed the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement in 2009.

The Vietnamese official reminded local enterprises of opportunities to be offered by an ASEAN community that is to come into being by 2015 with a combined population of more than 600 million people and a combined GDP of over 2.2 trillion USD (2.4 trillion AUD).

Meanwhile, Prof. Mark Beeson from Murdoch University said that ASEAN has proved its own strong role regionally and globally over the past 47 years of development.

Participants agreed that the event provided important information for local enterprises, politicians, scholars, and people to further understand about the upcoming ASEAN Community.-VNA