JAKARTA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) inaugurated here on Thursday its new secretariat building as it commemorates its 52nd anniversary.
Inauguration of the new ASEAN Secretariat building was attended by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, foreign ministers of ASEAN countries, former ASEAN senior officials and foreign diplomats serving in Indonesia.
In his keynote speech, Widodo expected the new building to facilitate most of ASEAN activities in the future.
"This would significantly cut down traveling expenses particularly spent by ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN permanent representative officials. The saved traveling allocations can eventually be used to finance more ASEAN activities," the president said.
The new ASEAN Secretariat premises comprised of two 16-storey towers, located near the old building in a South Jakarta district. Those towers are linked with a 41.3-meter bridge.
ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi thanked the Indonesian government for facilitating construction of the building.
"As we look forward to the next 50 years of ASEAN integration, this building will provide a sound foundation to deepen our community building efforts, by creating more opportunities for meetings and face-to-face interactions that will further deepen our political, economic and social ties," he said.
Various related events including a musical concert were held in the new building to commemorate the anniversary of ASEAN.
Representative of ASEAN members and dialogue partners also presented artworks for the new ASEAN Gallery.
ASEAN was established on Aug. 8, 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration.