ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations, rooted in shared values, history and culture, with ASEAN countries and is looking forward to establishing comprehensive, durable and mutually beneficial relations to the benefit of the region. He said this while addressing the 41st anniversary of ASEAN held at the Indonesian Embassy here on Friday. He said ASEAN as a dynamic regional forum has transformed the South East Asia as fast growing region and its leadership has displayed incredible political determination and will to build strong vibrant and homogenous economies. Talking about the economic ties between ASEAN and Pakistan, he said that the interaction between Pakistan and ASEAN countries should be exploited maximum for the benefit of the region. "Pakistan offers a number of investment opportunities in energy, telecommunication, oil and gas, services, agriculture and other fields.  ASEAN countries can also avail access to take full advantage of the geographical proximity to Central Asia and Middle East. Pakistan is prepared to assist in providing all kinds of facilities to the ASEAN businessmen in this regard", he said.   He further remarked that there should be greater efforts to have Pak-ASEAN free trade pact as early as possible and major up-gradation of Pakistan and ASEAN relations in this regard have been made as Pakistan acquired ARF membership in 2004, acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) and signed a Joint Declaration to Combat Terrorism with ASEAN. "Now Pakistan's economic instituionalised cooperation has been enhanced and stage is set for Pakistan to become a full dialogue partner of ASEAN", he added. He also stressed the need for close interaction between Pakistan and ASEAN countries to deal with issues like food and oil security and welfare of the people of the region.  He said that democratically elected government of Pakistan is taking all measures to strengthen business and investment base of the country by bringing political stability in the country. Seven ambassadors of the ASEAN member countries participated in the event. The High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam, Pehin Colonel (Retd) Abdul Jalil Ahmad, as Chairman of ASEAN Islamabad Committee welcomed Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. He highlighted that 41 years ago, in 1967, ASEAN has established in Bangkok, initially with five member countries, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Later 5 other countries, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia also joined the organization and the aim of ASEAN was to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region apart from promoting regional peace and stability.  He also spoke on the relation between ASEAN and Pakistan. He said that Pakistan has helped ASEAN in many areas, especially in trade. The celebration of the 41st ASEAN Anniversary also observed 1-minute silence to commemorate those who have lost their lives in the recent disaster in the Union of Myanmar.