President Mohammed Shahabuddin on Tuesday (Sep 5) joined the opening session of the 43rd Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Plenary Hall of Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) in the Indonesian capital. With the theme of "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth", the three-day summit is being held on Sep 5-7 as Indonesian President Joko Widodo is chairing it, local media reported.
Bangladesh President Shahabuddin along with his wife Dr Rebecca Sultana reached the summit venue at about 9:50 a.m. (local time).
On arrival, they were welcomed by the ASEAN chair and the Indonesian President after a formal state reception. The Indonesian President along with his wife Iriana Joko Widodo also took part in a photo session with the Bangladesh President and his spouse.
Chairperson of Bangladesh National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Saima Wazed and Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen are also accompanying the President at the opening ceremony.
Along with 10 organizational leaders from ASEAN countries, several heads of the state and the government and leaders of partner countries are participating in the opening session of the summit.
Host country Indonesia invited as many as 27 world leaders and concerned personalities of international bodies like executive directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank for the summit, said ASEAN secretary general.
The ASEAN summit will feature the issue of development and strengthening of the organisation's cooperation with external partners, several important themes such as the Code of Conduct regarding the South China Sea, the South East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ), the ASEAN Maritime Outlook, the ASEAN Outlook in Indo Pacific (AOIP), and issues related to Myanmar.
It is also expected that the summit will also witness several important agreements related to ASEAN infrastructure strengthening, food security, blue economy, green economy, digital economy and payment ecosystem, according to ASEAN secretariat.
On the sidelines of the summit, the Bangladesh President will join the 18th "East Asia Summit (EAS)", where he will deliver his speech in its concluding session.
10 ASEAN countries and the United States, the Russian Federation, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and India will join the East Asia Summit.
According to programme schedule, the Head of the State will have separate bilateral meetings with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo, Secretary General of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Dr Salman Al Farisi and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Sep 7.
The ASEAN summit is a biannual meeting as it serves as a prominent regional (Asia) and international (worldwide) conference, with world leaders attending its related summits and meetings to discuss various problems and global issues.