Singapore (People’s Daily) – Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries gathered in Singapore for the annual chair of the bloc on Tuesday, focusing on community building among other regional and international issues.
Singapore foreign ministry said it was the first meeting of ASEAN hosted by its country in 2018, and “the retreat (would) be a useful and timely opportunity for the foreign ministers to discuss the way forward for the ASEAN Community.”
“The purpose of a retreat is to give us more time to interact informally, brainstorm and discuss things more widely and also at a more fundamental level without the glare of too much publicity,” Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan was quoted as saying by the Straits Times.
The chairmanship tagline this year is “Resilient and Innovative”, as ASEAN wants to unite facing the growing uncertainties and changes in the global landscape.
ASEAN was established in 1967, and now consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.