Heads of state and government of the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered in Singapore on Monday for their 33rd summit and related meetings, under the theme "Resilient and Innovative."

Iran Press/Asia: The 33rd summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chaired by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and marked the ending of Singapore’s chairmanship in the organization. Lee will hand over the chairmanship to his counterpart from Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha at the closing ceremony.

The leaders of ASEAN are set to adopt the ASEAN Smart Cities Framework, aimed at urban development across the association and will discuss ASEAN’s goals and achievements.

ASEAN member countries alongside six ASEAN partner countries, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand will also discuss the progress of the talks on creation of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The prospective free trade agreement is viewed as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Moreover, such events as the 21st ASEAN Plus Three Summit and the 13th East Asia Summit as well as the association’s summits with China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States are scheduled. ASEAN will also hold informal summits with Australia and India.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and US Vice President Mike Pence are set to attend the related ASEAN events in Singapore, among others.

ASEAN, a regional bloc comprising 10 Southeast Asian nations, aims to promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitate economic integration among its members.

It was established in August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The group later expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. 101/202

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