By Riaz Ahmad Malik
ASEAN has historical ties, friendly relations and long-standing multifaceted cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Both ASEAN and Pakistan are making more and more efforts to promote stronger cooperation and linkage in all fields, including political, culture, science and technology, education and training, especially in trade and investment.
This was stated by Chairman of the ASEAN Committee in Islamabad, Ambassador of Viet Nam His Excellency Nguyen Tien Phong while addressing an impressive ceremony held here in Islamabad in connection with the 55th anniversary of the Association.
He added that trade volume between ASEAN and Pakistan reached approximately US$ 11.0 billion in fiscal year 2022 and we do believe that this number will continue to increase rapidly in the coming years because the RCEP as well as new economic policies of Pakistan Government will create more favorable conditions for trade between the two sides, promoting the huge potential between ASEAN and Pakistan.
He added that ASEAN appreciates Pakistan in resolving regional issues and achieving significant strides in advancing regional cooperation of Pakistan for further strengthening its multi-dimensional relations with Pakistan, including through enhanced connectivity and people-to-people contacts.
The Vietnamese envoy on behalf of the ASEAN Committee in Islamabad expressed his deep and profound sympathy, condolences over the loss of nearly 1000 lives in the unprecedented floods, calamities in different parts of Pakistan by hoping that Pakistan and its people will soon overcome these natural catastrophes, together with the supports from friends and international organizations.
While shedding light on the successes of the ASEAN, the Ambassador said that since its inception the Association has emerged as one of the world’s most important, reputable and successful regional organizations; a common home shared by 650 million people of the 10 nations with diverse cultural identities and many similarities. It is the fifth largest economic community in the world, a reliable and important partner of many countries which plays a central role in the important processes of dialogue, cooperation and integration in the region.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar in her address as the Chief Guest highlighted the significance of ASEAN-Pakistan relationship and expressed the hope that this relationship will further develop in the days to come.
Besides the Ambassadors of the ASEAN states, the ceremony was attended by the dignitaries belonging to different walks of life and senior media persons in large number.