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ASEAN provides benefits for non member countries: top official

Source:   Time:

JAKARTA, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dr Surin Pitsuwan said on Thursday that currently the bloc is also providing benefits for non member countries, a press statement said here.

"The region has now become the 'centrality of substance', where opportunities and benefits lie not only for its people, but also for non-ASEAN member states," said Surin in a briefing on the progress made between the previous summit in April and the recent one last month.

He also noted the importance of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, which was adopted by the ASEAN leaders at the summit, to the peoples of ASEAN.

The briefing was delivered by Surin, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to ASEAN Ambassador Vu Dang Dung as the current chair of ASEAN and Permanent Representative of Indonesia to ASEAN Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya as the incoming Chair of ASEAN.

Ambassador Vu then touched on the key achievements of the 17th ASEAN Summit.

"At the summit, the ASEAN leaders met their counterparts from the Dialogue Partners countries, all of which reiterated their support to ASEAN and reaffirmed its centrality," he said.

Ambassador Swajaya, meanwhile, briefed the audience on the venues for some of the key meetings to be held during Indonesia's chairmanship next year.

Indonesia's chairmanship logo and theme were also introduced.

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