The festival has been held annually by the five ASEAN countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. This year, the festival was also jointly organised by the Institute for Asia Studies under the University of British Columbia.
Opening the event, Thailand’s General Consul Sutthiluck Sa-ngarmangkang reviewed the 50 years of ASEAN’s development from a five-member association to a community with combined GDP of US$2.4 trillion and population of 629 million people.
She said that ASEAN is rising to the sixth largest economy in the world and the third in Asia as well as the third biggest market in the world.
ASEAN is not only an important partner of Canada in the Asia-Pacific region, but also it’s a dialogue partner with strengthened ties after 40 years, said Sa-ngarmangkang.
Vietnamese Consul General in Vancouver Pham Manh Hai said that the event helps connect ASEAN cultures and ASEAN with Canada to foster friendship.
Canadian Senator Yuen Pau Woo stated that Canada has paid great attention to strengthening partnership with ASEAN. He expressed his hope that major commemoration events in 2017 will be good opportunities for the two sides to bolster their cooperation in various fields from economy and politics to culture and social affairs.
Participants enjoyed dances and food as well as handicraft products of the ASEAN countries and improved their understanding of the nations’ diverse cultures.