Jakarta (ANTARA News) - ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan and Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, the head of the African Union Commission (AUC) delegation, discussed efforts to forge closer ties in their meeting, here, Wednesday.

"ASEAN and the African Union can forge closer cooperation and have exchanges of experience and best practices on many areas of our respective strengths such as regional economic integration, political and security cooperation, and development cooperation and addressing challenges faced by each organisation," Pitsuwan said in a statement here Thursday.

Dr. Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, the Commissioner for Economic Affairs led the AUC delegation during the two-day working visit to the ASEAN Secretariat on May 1 and 2, 2012.

The AUC delegation engaged in extensive discussions with senior staff members of the ASEAN Secretariaton the developments in ASEAN and ASEAN community building process as well as of AU`s.

Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN Nyan Lynn in his welcome remarks to the AUC delegation stated that ASEAN is keen to explore practical cooperation with the African Union as well as the sub-regional groupings in the continent.

During the discussion, both sides recalled the Asia-Africa synergy derived from the `Spirit of Bandung` in 1955, and subsequent high-level contacts and efforts to forge closer relations and cooperation between Asia and Africa, including the First Asian-African Sub-Regional Organizations Conference (AASROC) held in April 2003 in Bandung, Indonesia and the Second ASSROC held in August 2004 in South Africa.

Most notably were the Asian-African Summit and the Commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Jakarta and Bandung in April 2005 with the adoption of the Declaration on the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP).

The declaration emphasises the need to promote practical cooperation between the two continents in areas such as trade, industry, investment finance, tourism, information and communication technology, energy health, transportation, agriculture, water resources and fisheries.