Festival in Switzerland marks 50th ASEAN anniversary

Monday, 2017-09-25 11:32:25
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NDO/VNA – The 2017 ASEAN Festival has taken place in the capital city of Berne, Switzerland, introducing a variety of traditional dishes and folk performances from the ASEAN member states to the local people.

The event was intended to commemorate the 50th ASEAN founding anniversary, with Vietnamese Ambassador to Switzerland Pham Hai Bang and diplomats from ASEAN nations and the host country in attendance.

In his opening remarks on September 23, Joselito A. Jimeno, Ambassador of the Philippines and the Chair of ASEAN for 2017, gave a brief overview of ASEAN and its milestones since its establishment five decades ago and highlighted the development of the ASEAN-Switzerland relations.

Switzerland became an ASEAN sectoral dialogue partner last year, he said, adding that the ASEAN Committee in Berne was launched in mid-September, gathering the diplomatic representative agencies of ASEAN countries in the city.

Welcoming the opening of the event, Johannes Matyassy from the Swiss Foreign Ministry, said that the festival contributed to increasing the mutual understanding between the people of ASEAN and Switzerland.

He congratulated the group on its achievements over the past 50 years and highly spoke of its significant role not only in Asia but also throughout the world. Switzerland recognises ASEAN’s important role in promoting regional peace, security and economic integration, he stated.

It was the first time the ASEAN Festival opened in Berne. Visitors to the event had an opportunity to learn more about the bloc through traditional cuisine, martial arts and folk dance performances from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.