The Secretary General of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sérgio França Danese, offered on August 25th, at Itamaraty Palace, a working lunch to the seven Heads of Mission from the ASEAN countries resident in Brasília (Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia Malaysian, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam). Brazil also has resident embassies in these seven countries.
The event aimed at strengthening the process of rapprochement between Brazil and ASEAN, initiated during the MERCOSUL-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, held in Brasília, in 2008, and was followed by the nomination of the Ambassador of Jakarta as Ambassador to ASEAN, in 2011; with the organization of the First Course for ASEAN Diplomats , in Rio de Janeiro, in 2012; and with the Brazilian accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), in Phnom Penh, also in 2012.
Comprised of ten members (Brunei, Cambodia and Laos besides the seven abovementioned), ASEAN was created in 1967 and has established itself the main mechanism of Asian integration. It counts on an extensive network of institutional intra-block mechanisms and regular interlocution channels with its ten Dialogue Partners. The group of ASEAN member countries has a population of 620 million inhabitants and a GDP of approximately US$ 2.5 trillion.
In 2014, trade between Brazil and the ASEAN countries reached approximately US$ 20 billion, which positioned the group as the sixth main Brazilian trade partner in the world and the second in Asia, after China.