Foreign Secretary Dr. Asad Majeed Khan held a roundtable meeting with the resident ASEAN Heads of Missions today. The meeting was held as part of Pakistan’s continued engagement with ASEAN. The Foreign Secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to fortifying the partnership between Pakistan and ASEAN in all spheres, in line with its East Asia Vision.

The Foreign Secretary underlined Pakistan’s policy of proactive engagement with the ASEAN member states both bilaterally, and in the multilateral context. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum in Cambodia in 2022, his visits to Indonesia and Singapore in December 2022, and Pakistan’s participation and support for various ASEAN specific initiatives show Pakistan’s commitment to the ASEAN and its processes. He outlined actions taken by Pakistan to enhance engagement with ASEAN and reiterated the importance of making the best use of institutional tools available on bilateral and ASEAN-wide level.

The Foreign Secretary also briefed the Heads of Missions on the projects proposed and implemented by Pakistan with ASEAN during 2021-2023, in line with the ASEAN-Pakistan Practical Areas of Cooperation agreed between the two sides. These include the already executed Diplomatic courses for ASEAN diplomats and Training program in Banking and Finance for the central bank officials of the ASEAN member states and the training program on Cyber Security and a Pakistan-ASEAN Business Opportunities Conference scheduled in the later half of this year.

ASEAN member states shared valuable inputs for the enhancement of Pakistan-ASEAN relations. High Commissioner of Malaysia, and the chair of ASEAN Committee in Islamabad, H.E Azhar Bin Mazlan shared a plan of action for the year 2023 including projects and events to be implemented in Pakistan during 2023.

Pakistan is a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN since 1993 and is also a member of ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) since 2004.

8 June 2023

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