In his opening speech, Vietnamese Ambassador Vu Hong Nam, who is the current rotating Chair of the ASEAN Committee in Tokyo (ACT), said ASEAN is now one of the most dynamic and successful regional organisations in the world.
According to the ambassador, with a population of nearly 700 million and GDP exceeding 3.2 trillion USD, ASEAN is the world's 5th biggest economy. The bloc’s trade has so far recovered to the pre-COVID-19 level and is forecast to grow 4.9% this year and 5.2% in 2023. The group’s cooperation with its foreign partners has been increasingly deepened toward effectiveness.
The diplomat attributed such results to unceasing efforts made by ASEAN people.
He went on to highlight the role of ATC since its establishment 44 years ago, noting that ATC members have frequently convened meetings for mutual support in fostering ties among member states and Japan as well as ASEAN-Japan relations.
Echoing the view, Cambodian Ambassador Tuy Ry stressed ASEAN has transformed from a loose mechanism into a closely cohesive and rules-based organisation.
He also pointed out security challenges facing the bloc in the time to come, notably the Myanmar situation and issues related to thet East Sea/South China Sea, Korean Peninsula, and Russia-Ukraine conflict.
After the celebration, the participating diplomats attended the ACT’s 311th meeting.