The Vietnamese Embassy in Italy held an ASEAN flag raising ceremony on July 30 to mark the 45th founding anniversary of ASEAN and 17 years since Vietnam joined the organisation.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Hoang Long reviewed the process of forming and development of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He affirmed that the flag-hoisting event on the occasion of ASEAN founding day (August 8, 1967) symbolises the commitment of ASEAN member countries to achieve the goal of establishing the ASEAN Community by 2015.

The ceremony also reflects the growing cooperation between ASEAN and Italy, he added.

At the 44th ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Indonesia, ASEAN countries agreed to fly the bloc’s flag beside their own flags at all overseas diplomatic missions to improve awareness of ASEAN and the process of building the ASEAN Community.

Earlier, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Relations in conjunction with the General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria) held a forum on ASEAN in Rome on July 22-23, with the aim to boost economic cooperation between Italy and ASEAN member countries.

This is the first event of this kind ever organised in a European country.

Italy’s exports to ASEAN market in recent years have reached nearly 6 billion USD per year.-VNA