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Indonesia’s Chairmanship at the 2023 ASEAN Summit Encourages the Development of the Electric Vehicle Ecosystem


Arzan Malik Narendra)*

Indonesia’s chairmanship in the 2023 ASEAN Summit is considered capable of encouraging the development of the electric vehicle ecosystem. This is intended as an effort to be able to immediately switch from the use of fossil energy to energy that is far cleaner and renewable.

Indonesia has officially accepted the ASEAN chairmanship relay from Cambodia and will become Chair of the ASEAN Summit in 2023. The handover was held at the Closing Ceremony of the 40th and 41st Summits on 13 November 2022. Symbolically, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has received a gavel from the Prime Minister (PM) of Cambodia, Hun Sen as a sign that the Motherland has become the Chair of ASEAN.

After receiving the baton, President Jokowi then said that it was an honor for Indonesia to be able to be trusted again to become the Chair of ASEAN in 2023. He was then determined to make ASEAN a much more stable and peaceful region and able to become an anchor of stability for the world.

Right in 2023, for the fifth time, even Indonesia is trusted again and is also lined up to hold the chairmanship of ASEAN. It should be noted that at the ASEAN Summit 2023, Indonesia carries a big theme, namely ‘ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth’, which means that this nation really wants to continue to encourage and even make the countries of the ASEAN region remain important and also relevant in the eyes of the world.

Regarding this matter, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia (Menlu RI), Retno Marsudi said that the 42nd ASEAN Summit which will be held in May 2023 will ratify several agreements at once. One of the important agreements that continues to be pushed is regarding the development of the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.

At the meeting of  the High Level Task Force on Economic Integration,  countries in the ASEAN region have agreed to continue to develop an electric vehicle ecosystem in ASEAN in particular, which will soon be ratified when the summit takes place.

Not only that, but actually Indonesia also has several other priorities in carrying out its role as Chair of ASEAN 2023. There are at least 3 (three) pillars in the big theme of Indonesia’s chairmanship. The three are  ASEAN Matters, Epicentrum of Growth  and implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific  (ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific / AOIP) .

Then, Foreign Minister Retno added that in the  Epicentrum of Growth pillar, Indonesia itself continues to make efforts to be able to ensure that there is strengthening of energy security in supporting the transition from fossil energy which is non-renewable to energy that is much cleaner and also renewable, among others is by developing the regional electric vehicle ecosystem.

In an effort to develop the electric vehicle ecosystem, Retno Marsudi emphasized that the Government of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) continues to involve a large number of stakeholders. According to him, the involvement of many stakeholders is very important because of course such a big effort will not be possible if it is carried out by only a few parties.

Meanwhile, the Director for ASEAN Cooperation of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sidharto Suryodipuro stated that efforts to develop electric vehicle ecosystems in regional countries could be started by enforcing the creation of electric vehicle standards in ASEAN.

It cannot be denied that actually Indonesia has a comparative advantage, in the sense that the country’s superiority in this field can even be compared to other countries and also competitively this nation is optimistic in the field of electric vehicles.

How could it not be, because Indonesia itself is a country which is one of the regions with the largest economy in ASEAN. Then the collection of ASEAN countries themselves is one of the largest economies in the world, so of course the ASEAN countries themselves are of course able to create their own standards.

So far, the manufacturers of electric vehicles are China, South Korea or the United States. Reflecting on these countries, it turns out that their work system is that they have their own standards that are different.

However, the results will be very different if, together, countries in Southeast Asia or ASEAN are able to create their own standards. It is even very likely that in the future the standards regarding electric vehicles applied in ASEAN countries will be followed by other countries.

Therefore, the development of the electric vehicle ecosystem is indeed not an impossible thing to do by ASEAN, in which the process has started to be carried out by Indonesia as Chair of the ASEAN Summit in 2023.

)* The author is a contributor to the Siber Nusa Institute

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