52nd Asean Day celebrated in Doha

FROM LEFT: Heru Budiarso, Charge d’Affaires at Indonesian Embassy; Jai Sohan, Ambassador of Singapore; Mohamed Bahrin Abu Bakar, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam; Nguyen Dinh Thao, Ambassador of Vietnam and Chairman of ACD; Nathapol Khantahiran, Ambassador of Thailand; Alan L. Timbayan, Ambassador of the Philippines and Mohamad Shahir Sabarudin, Charge d’Affaires at Malaysia Embassy at the 52nd Asean Founding Anniversary at the Vietnam Embassy on Thursday. (Pic: Salim Matramkot/The Peninsula)

Embassies of Asean member countries in Doha are keen to further enhance partnership and boost bilateral investments with Qatar, Nguyen Dinh Thao, Ambassador of Vietnam and Chairman of Asean Committee in Doha (ACD) has stressed.

The envoy was speaking during the celebration of the 52nd founding anniversary of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) held at the Vietnam Embassy on Thursday in the presence of fellow ambassadors and heads of missions of the seven Asean member countries in Doha.

“Asean is set to deepen its cooperation with Dialogue Partners, including the GCC and to strengthen engagement with other external parties for mutually beneficial relations. On this note, the Asean Embassies accredited in Doha (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) look forward to increasing bilateral investments for the business communities of Southeast Asia and Qatar,” he said.

He underlined that “the ongoing high level visits between the two regions had demonstrated that distance separating the two regions could be narrowed through developments of investment opportunities.”

“The state visits of H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in 2017 and the upcoming scheduled visits to other Asean member countries will further enhance the plenty of opportunities for the development of our partnership,” said the Vietnam envoy.

He added: “As the Chairman of Asean Committee in Doha (ACD) for 2019, I believe that Asean and GCC, especially Qatar stand to mutually benefit from each other’s prosperity. With the shared interests in tight cooperation, the relations between Asean member countries and Qatar are bound to be further strengthened in the coming time.”

In his elaborate speech, the envoy outlined the remarkable progress Asean had witnessed since its establishment 52 years ago. He said that economically, Asean had demonstrated impressive growth with an average of 6% annual growth over the last decade, compared to the global average of 4% and projected to become the world’s fourth-largest single market by 2030.

“The economic development of Asean, which now has a population of approximately 660 million people, has grown rapidlxy and it registered a strong pace of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth at 5.3% in 2018. In 2018, Asean  economy was the seventh largest in the world with a combined GDP exceeding $2.9 trillion, a significant increase from the previous year,” he said.

He also talked about the Asean Community and its vision and the focus of Thailand’s current chairmanship.

A flag hoisting ceremony highlighted the celebration which was also attended by officials of various Southeast Asian missions.

Established on August 8, 1967, Asean currently has 10 members namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

 Source: Peninsula