The Vietnam-ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation Association (VAFCA) convened its first congress in Hanoi on August 8.

The congress elected a 14-member Executive Committee and former Deputy Foreign Minister Le Cong Phuc as VAFCA President for the 2011-2016 term.

The association’s activities were intended to promote understanding between the people of Vietnam and other ASEAN member countries and contribute to consolidating and developing friendship and cooperation in economics, trade, science and technology, education and training, culture, sport and tourism between Vietnam and other ASEAN members, for the sake of the people of Vietnam and ASEAN nations and for peace, cooperation and development.

President Phung said during the 2011-2016 term the association would actively carry out activities to raise people’s awareness of the tradition and history of the Vietnam-ASEAN friendship and cooperation.

VAFCA will also assist with activities to introduce Vietnam ’s partners and ASEAN countries to develop trade relations and organise delegations to exhibitions, fairs and promote trade and market development.

In addition, the association will function as a bridge for businesses of Vietnam and ASEAN nations to set up and expand business and cooperative ties in the fields of both sides’ concern.

President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations Vu Xuan Hong said he hoped the association would receive further support and assistance from Vietnam’s relevant agencies and ASEAN member countries’ embassies in the country for its effective operation, contributing to enhancing the understanding and all-around cooperation between Vietnam and other ASEAN nations.

Thai Ambassador to Vietnam Anuson Chinvanno said that the first VAFCA congress was one of a series of events marking the 44 th founding anniversary of ASEAN (August 8).

He said he believed the congress would help the public become deeply aware of ASEAN and boost ASEAN integration.

He affirmed that the Thai embassy would do its best for the future of the association and expressed his belief that the association would provide an active forum to enhance the solidarity and cooperation of the ASEAN family in Vietnam. /.