Jokowi Calls for the Strengthening of ASEAN Economic Integrity

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated the 44th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) with the theme “Responsive Parliament for a Stable and Prosperous ASEAN” in Jakarta, on Monday, August 7, 2023. In his opening remarks, Jokowi urged for ASEAN’s economic integrity to be strengthened, with equal and mutual economic cooperation with its partners. 

Jokowi encouraged obstacle-free trade between ASEAN and its dialogue partners. He also wanted the Southeast Asia block to be solid and maintain stability. “ASEAN needs to maintain mutual trust and firm cooperation,” he said.

For the time being, non-Southeast Asian countries could “join” ASEAN through broad external relations, developed by the association over several decades. Currently, ASEAN has 11 Dialogue Partners, namely, Australia, Canada, China, Europe Union, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, the US, and the UK.

Jokowi alluded to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s statement that believed ASEAN to be a motor for global economic growth. He emphasized that ASEAN could play a central economic role if it stays solid with the support of every party including the parliament.

Initially, ASEAN Dialogue Partners focused on safeguarding the technical and economic support to the region’s developing economy. However, the agenda expanded to include two-way promotion of trade and investment, strengthening the sociocultural relation, exchange of perspectives on regional political issues, and facing non-traditional threats such as terrorism and transnational crimes.

However, disputes between ASEAN or its state members and Dialogue Partner are unavoidable, such as the dispute concerning nickel and palm oil.


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