The year 2017 marks an important momentum for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On 8 August 2017, ASEAN turns 50. To celebrate its golden jubilee, the ASEAN Committee in Brasilia (ACB) held a diplomatic reception on 29 August 2017 at the residence of Thailand Ambassador to Brazil, H.E. Surasak Suparat, as the current Chairman of ACB. As part of the continuing effort to introduce ASEAN cultures, on said event all members of ACB (namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) wore their respective national costumes and served their typical foods for the guests to enjoy.
In his remarks, Ambassador Suparat, among others, underlined the important roles of ASEAN since its establishment to maintain a conducive environment for the people in southeast Asia and its surroundings to live in peace, stability and prosperity. Moreover, the region's economy has continued to grow and has been recognized as an engine driving the global economy despite its instability and volatility at present.
On the said event, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Ambassador Marcos Bezerra Abbott Galvão was also present as the Guest of Honour and congratulated ASEAN on its 50th anniversary. Diversity is a defining trait of the Association and for the past five decades, ASEAN has shown to the world that tolerance and dialogue are the foundations of an enduring partnership. This is no small feat and merits celebration.
Considered as a whole, ASEAN is Brazil's second major trading partner in Asia and the fourth major partner in the world, with total trade flows greater than US$ 16.5 billion. Brazil plays an important role in connecting these two regions through its engagement in fostering synergies between Mercosur and ASEAN, which are the most important integration initiatives in their respective region.