Tuesday, October 25, 2011


       Jakarta, Oct 25, 2011 (ANTARA) - Do you want to see cultural , culinary and creative products of the ten ASEAN member countries? Just visit the ongoing ASEAN Fair 2011 and one can satisfy one`s curiosity without actually having to travel to those countries.
        The ASEAN Fair 2011 featuring music and food festivals, theatrical performances, and book and handicrafts expos, was officially kicked off by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at Nusa Dua, Bali, on October 24.

        "With pleasure, I invite all the people (of ASEAN) to celebrate this Fair," the president said in his remarks in the front yard of the Nusa Dua Convention Center.
        The head of state explained that the idea of ASEAN Fair 2011 in line with the vision of the ASEAN Charter on ASEAN community that brings together under one vision, one identity, and one caring and sharing community.
       "We can promote ASEAN identity by enhancing mutual understanding and appreciation of differences and similarities in history, cultural heritage and our way of life. Culture is a universal language that brings together the ASEAN countries," President Yudhoyono said.
       According to the President, there are two main objectives in implementing the ASEAN Fair 2011.
       The first is to promote ASEAN culture through the material exhibits explaining the history, culture and way of life of the ASEAN community with multimedia, books, children`s drawings, and cultural objects such as paintings and textiles.
      Secondly, it is to celebrate ASEAN`s wealth of creative industries through music, movies, books, cultural performances, art goods, textiles.

The ASEAN Fair is the President`s initiative to celebrate the rich cultural diversity in the ASEAN Community, and to bring ASEAN closer to its people.

It is a month-long celebration in Bali and Jakarta, which will culminate in the 19th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Bali in November 2011.

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pengestu, who is concurrently the chairperson of the Fair`s organizing committee, explained in Nusa Dua on Sunday (Oct 23) that "The theme of the ASEAN Fair this time was `Hello ASEAN` as a symbol of warm greeting from Indonesia as the host to all fellow members coming to Bali."

"Hello ASEAN" is a universal language deeply rooted in the culture of ASEAN member countries in general.

"Through this universal cultural language, we want to give special honor to the ASEAN identity. This forum will show an ASEAN face reflecting the diversity of its cultural heritage, and historical, cultural and characteristic similarities of its community that make us one big regional community in the world," she said.

The event is also aimed at strengthening fraternity among the ten member countries of ASEAN, ccording to.

"As the current Chair of ASEAN in 2011, Indonesia has initiated the ASEAN Fair as a forum to jointly display creative economic and cultural products of ASEAN," Minister Mari Pangestu told the press in Nusa Dua on Sunday (Oct 23).

She hoped that such an event could be organized annually in ASEAN, even after Indonesia was no longer the organization`s chair.

The ASEAN Fair reflected Indonesia`s special attention to the fraternal ties among the peoples of ASEAN, she said.

The minister said that culture was a means to unify the nation that could also unite countries and, through the universal language of culture, Indonesia wanted to honor in a special way ASEAN`s identity and the fraternal bonds existing among its peoples.

The government planned to allocate Rp 101 billion (US$11.8 million) to organize the Fair with the objective of promoting the ASEAN Community.

Trade Ministry Secretary General Ardiansyah Parman said in Jakarta recently that Rp 14 billion of the funds would be used for promotional and public relations activities, Rp 68 billion on main expo and festival activities, Rp 9.5 billion on opening and closing ceremonies and the remainder on other things.

The opening ceremony was highlighted by among other things parades of decorated cars, traditional Balinese percussion musicians and dancers, and closed with an acrobatic flying show by Indonesian Air Force`s "The Jupiters" performing 15 breath-taking manoeuvre stunts.

Among Indonesia`s provinces participating in the ASEAN Fair is North Sulawesi which is exhibiting its traditional foods.

"North Sulawesi special foods have the potential to be further developed, thus the local government will use the ASEAN Fair for the promotion of its home industry products," the head of North Sulawesi`s industry and trade office, Sanny Parengkuan, said in Manado, North Sulawesi, recently.

Taking charge as ASEAN Chairman in 2011, Indonesia has set a target of making ASEAN a more people-centered and people-driven organization.

Throughout 2011, Indonesia is doing its utmost to create a People-Oriented and People-Centered ASEAN.

The theme of Indonesia`s Chair is "ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations". This particular theme is selected to support the success of ASEAN Community 2015.

In 1967, Indonesia was one of the founding countries that signed the Bangkok Declaration that marked the establishment of ASEAN which now groups Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. ***2***

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(T.F001/A/F001/A/A014) 26-10-2011 16:53:44

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