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Celebrating the 49th ASEAN Day

Forty-nine years ago a group of five countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, agreed to establish the Association of Southeast Asian Nations by adopting the so-called Bangkok Declaration on 8 August 1967. In 1984, ASEAN began its expansion to include Brunei Darussalam, then Vietnam, Lao PDR., Myanmar, and Cambodia.

ASEAN today comprises ten countries with a combined population of over 600 million, and becomes an inter-governmental organisation based on the ASEAN Charter, adopted in 2007.

Photo: Celebrating the 49th ASEAN Anniversary in Pretoria are (l-r) Mr. Agus Salim Yusof, Charge d'Affaires of Malaysia and Mrs. Nor Syazwani Hamdan, H.E Mr. Chua Thai-Keong, High Commissioner of Singapore, H.E. Mr. Tha Aung Nyun, Ambassador of Myanmar and Mrs. Mar Mar Kyaw, H.E. Mr. Joseph Gerard B. Angeles, Ambassador of the Philippines, H.E. Mr. Le Huy Hoang, Ambassador of Vietnam and Mrs. Vu Thi Minh Hoa, Mrs. Ina Suprapto and H.E. Mr. Suprapto Martosetomo, Ambassador of Indonesia, Mrs. Dounghatai Danvivathana and H.E. Dr. Pornchai Danvivathana, Ambassador of Thailand and Chair of ASEAN Pretoria Committee.

Over the past five decades of its establishment and development, ASEAN has overcome tremendous challenges and attained remarkable achievements. Most importantly, ASEAN has played an important role to maintain a conducive environment for the peoples in Southeast Asia to live in peace, stability and prosperity. The 10-member States have worked closely together to build ASEAN as a community of political cohesion, economic integration and social responsibilities.

 

Welcoming remarks by H.E. Dr. Pornchai Danvivathana, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand and Chairman of the ASEAN Pretoria Committee
at the Reception to Celebrate the 49th ASEAN Day
4 August 2016

Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Officials of the South African Government, Representatives from DIRCO and other Departments

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,


On behalf of the ASEAN Pretoria Committee, it is my great honour  to welcome you to the Celebration of the 49th ASEAN Day, which falls on 8 August 2016.

Forty-nine years ago a group of five countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, agreed to establish the Association of Southeast Asian Nations by adopting the so-called Bangkok Declaration on 8 August 1967. In 1984, ASEAN began its expansion to include Brunei Darussalam, then Vietnam, Lao PDR., Myanmar, and Cambodia. ASEAN today comprises ten countries with a combined population of over 600 million, and becomes an inter-governmental organisation based on the ASEAN Charter, adopted in 2007.

Over the past five decades of its establishment and development, ASEAN has overcome tremendous challenges and attained remarkable achievements. Most importantly, ASEAN has played an important role to maintain a conducive environment for the peoples in Southeast Asia to live in peace, stability and prosperity. The 10-member States have worked closely together to build ASEAN as a community of political cohesion, economic integration and social responsibilities. At the same time, ASEAN increasingly enhances its cooperation with their dialogue and other external partners, friendly countries and international organizations, through different ASEAN-initiated mechanisms with ASEAN’s role as a driving force in the region, making contributions to world peace, stability and development.

As peace, security and stability play the crucial roles for development of our region, ASEAN has always reaffirmed and played its central role in dealing with security issues, including the issue of the South China Sea, by peaceful means in accordance with international law. This position, among others, has been clearly reconfirmed by                   the ASEAN Ministers in their Joint Communiqué of the recent 49th ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting on 24th July 2016 in Vientiane.

It’s my pleasure to emphasise that the establishment of the ASEAN Community, particularly the ASEAN Economic Community, taking effect in December 2015, is a major milestone in the regional integration. This reflects ASEAN’s prioritised commitment to establish a people-oriented, people-centred and rules-based ASEAN Community, where all people, stakeholders and sectors of society can contribute to and enjoy the benefits from a more integrated and connected Community.

The region’s economy has continued to grow. It has been recognised that ASEAN has served as an engine driving the global economy despite the global economic instability and volatility at present.  Also, cooperation through ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community has successfully been improving the well-being, livelihood, and welfare of the peoples of ASEAN.

In this context, ASEAN and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) could share our experience and assist each other in the preparation for regional integration in a coherent manner and conducive to our respective circumstances and requirements. On top of that, a competitive market in the ASEAN Economic Community which allows free flow of goods, services, investments capital and skilled labour could at least provide lubrication for the economic growth of the African Continent.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Next year, ASEAN will reach and celebrate its Golden Anniversary. A number of activities have been scheduled to take place to celebrate this occasion, such as tourism programme, where travel promotion will be offered to travelers to enjoy diverse destinations in the ASEAN Countries.

At this juncture, the ASEAN Pretoria Committee invites South Africa to consider the great potential and opportunities ASEAN can offer, which include trade, investment, infrastructure development, technology transfer, education and tourism. In South Africa, ASEAN as a group has a substantial economic footprint, with trade reaching close to US$7.7 billion. ASEAN is fully committed to having an excellent investment climate for all businesses.We stand ready to be a platform of further economic engagement between South Africa and ASEAN.

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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January 2018

 
 
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