The ASEAN Committee in Doha (ACD) will boost cooperation among the members of the regional bloc in Qatar, said the Committee’s current Chair and Philippine Ambassador to Qatar HE Crescente Relacion on Wednesday.
The ACD, formed six months ago in pursuant of Section 43 of the ASEAN Charter, is aimed at promoting cooperation and solidarity among the nationals of ASEAN member states in Qatar. The members of the group are Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.
Talking to the media on the sidelines of the celebration of 45th anniversary of the foundation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) held at the Philippine School Doha (PSD), the Filipino envoy said the committee was formed to further promote the identity of the regional bloc to the host country, especially as the group is gearing towards economic integration and into a single market and production base by 2015.
As part of effort to strengthen its presence in Qatar, the committee would host ASEAN Family Day and Art Painting Contest tentatively scheduled to hold in November and December respectively, the envoy said. He said the ASEAN Family Day would be a grand get-together of the expatriates from the member countries.
“The ACD is an initiative of former Thai envoy to Qatar Suvat Chirapant and comprised of the seven ASEAN members with missions in Doha. While ASEAN is not a new group, there is a need to create more awareness about its activities and what it stands for. ASEAN endeavours to eliminate tariffs among its 10-member states so that there will be a free flow of goods and services, which will boost our economic ties,” Relacion said.
Malaysia, which held the chairmanship of ACD from January to June, introduced the committee to the members of the Doha Diplomatic Corps during a gala dinner recently. Relacion said the Philippines’ role as the ACD chairman will end in December following the terms and conditions of the committee to rotate chairmanship among the members every six months.
The celebration of the ASEAN 45th anniversary featured cultural dances, song numbers and informative sessions about the bloc. The seven ASEAN communities in Qatar came in full force to mark the event. Brunei Ambassador to Qatar HE Haji Nordin Bin Haji Ahmad, Indonesian Ambassador HE Deddy Saiful Hadi, Malaysian Ambassador HE Ahmad Jazri Mohd Johar, Vietnam’s Ambassador HE Le Hong Phan and Charge d’Affaires of Singapore Syed Noureddin and Charge d’Affaires of Thailand Somwang Khruasuwan were present on the occasion.
Presentation of traditional dances of the seven countries by the PSD Hiyaw Dance Troupe was among the highlights of the glitzy event. Winners of ACD sports tournament were also awarded at the function.
The awardees included the wife of Filipino envoy Madame Meike Naomi Loing, who won the first place in the women’s single division in badminton, and Ambassador Hadi of Indonesia as the winner in the head of mission category in bowling.
source: Qatar Tribune
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