The ASEAN Federation of Glass Manufacturers (AFGM) is now a 40 years old regional industry association composed of glass manufacturers in South East Asia.
It was organized in 1977 by 19 glass manufacturers from the then five member countries of ASEAN who convened on July 23rd and July 24th of that year at the Silahis International Hotel in Manila, Philippines and then at the Development Academy of the Philippines in Tagaytay City for the purpose of setting up a regional industry association.
The prime mover behind the organization of AFGM was the late Perfecto T. Dan/in, then President of the Glass Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (GMAPI). He passed away on October 23rd, 1982 shortly before he was due to attend the 7th Annual Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
At the organizational meeting, it was agreed that AFGM would consist of the national industry association of the five member countries of ASEAN. At that meeting, the constitution and by-laws of the group were drafted.
At the second conference on October 31st, 1977 held again in Manila, the constitution and by-laws were ratified. Signing for their respective countries were Raul C. Hernandez (Philippines), Soegiono Hartadi (Indonesia), Leslie Struys (Malaysia), Lam Ying (Singapore), and Chainarong Srifuengfung (Thailand).
On July 26th, 1978, the AFGM was given interim recognition by the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ASEAN-CCI) and became a member of its Working Group on Industrial Complementation.
Since 1978, AFGM conferences have been held every year usually in late October or early November. These conferences which had been earlier named AFGM Annual Conference are now officially named ASEAN Glass Conference of the ASEAN Federation of Glass Manufacturers. Starting in 1981, the conferences carried a theme.
Until 2011, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand have taken turns hosting the annual conferences which are organized by their respective glass industry associations. No conference has been held in the other ASEAN countries since they have no glass industries or no industry association. But in 2012, Vietnam, the newest member hosted for the very first time an annual conference, the 36th ASEAN Glass Conference in Hanoi.
In 2001, the Philippines was to host the 26thASEAN Glass Conference but the aftermath of September 11th (911) forced its postponement to 2002. The conference was held in the same venue in Cebu, Philippines. As a consequence, the AFGM chairmanship of Dibhyaraks Sukhum of Thailand was extended to 2002.
Attendance at the conference has not been limited to AFGM members only. Glass manufacturers from nearby countries and glass industry suppliers from all over the world have also been attending. During the 3rd Annual Conference held in Bangkok in 1978, there were only 40 delegates but the attendance kept on increasing and by 1989, at the 14th Annual Conference in Cebu, Philippines, this went up to more than 300, a level of attendance maintained in succeeding conferences.
AFGM also holds Council Meetings usually in June or July to review preparations for the conference, to address common issues and concerns and discuss the affairs of the organization. These meetings are normally attended by the officers of the national industry associations who also take turn hosting these meetings. The industry association normally hosts the Council Meeting prior to the year they host the annual conference.
Council Meetings were held in 1980 in Jakarta; 1981 in Singapore; 1986 in Singapore; 1987 in Manila, 1988 in Pattaya, Thailand; 1989 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; 1990 in Lembang, Indonesia; 1991 in Jakarta; 1992 in Cebu, Philippines; 1993 in Hua Hin, Thailand; 1994 in Langkawi, Malaysia; 1995 in Cipanas, Indonesia; 1996 in Baguio, Philippines; 1997 in Thahtay Kyun Island, Myanmar; 1998 in Bali, Indonesia; 1999 in Kuala Lumpur, 2000 in Cebu, Philippines; 2001 in Ayutthaya, Thailand; 2003 in Langkawi , Malaysia; 2004 in Lombok, Indonesia; 2005 in Tagaytay, Philippines; 2006 in Khaoyai, Thailand; 2007 in Kuala Lumpur; 2008 in Bandung, Indonesia; 2009 in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; 2010 in Hua Hin, Thailand; 2011 in Hanoi, Vietnam; 2012 in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; 2013 in Manila, Philippines; 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia and Bangkok, Thailand this 2015.
The membership of Vietnam was taken up during the 2009 Council Meeting which was hosted by the Philippines in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. At the Plenary Session of the 33rd Asean Glass Conference on October 6th, 2009 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Vietnam was formally admitted into membership in AFGM and duly recognized at the Opening Ceremony on October 7th, 2010.
In 1991, the host country was supposed to be the Philippines but because of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and its disruptive effects on air travel, Indonesia offered to host for the second consecutive time the Council Meeting which was then held in Jakarta.
AFGM officers are a chairman, a vice-chairman and a secretary general who hold office for 2 years. The member-countries take turns holding the positions of chairman and secretary general. The vice-chairman normally comes from the member-country whose turn it is to next chair the federation.
While many involved with AFGM came and went through the years, a few involved themselves continuously from 1977 till they left the glass industry. These were Paul Low from Malaysia, Chainarong Srifuengfung of Thailand and Yu Kim Chuy of the Philippines. Leslie Struys, a founding member of AFGM, has the distinction of having attended all of AFGM's Council Meetings and conferences until 2014.