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The ASEAN Summit Has a Positive Impact on the Community’s Economy


By: Naufal Putra Bratajaya )*

The ASEAN Summit which is planned to be held in Labuan Bajo in May 2023 will certainly increase the enthusiasm of the local community in welcoming this grand event. This is because the ASEAN Summit Summit event will have an impact on increasing the economy for local communities in the region. According to him, the ASEAN Summit will bring direct benefits to West Manggarai Regency. It is not only felt by hotel and restaurant entrepreneurs in Labuan Bajo, but also directly felt by the community. A number of series of meetings at the ASEAN Summit which will take place from 9 May 2023 will of course have a positive impact, such as the growth of the transportation, accommodation, MSMEs to tourism sectors.

The Regent of West Manggarai, NTT, Edistasius Endi said that the implementation of the ASEAN Summit would have a direct impact on local Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in West Manggarai Regency. Hundreds of delegates from all ASEAN members will buy local MSME products in Labuan Bajo.

Edistasius Endi explained, with this economic growth, it would encourage the creation of new jobs in various sectors, such as culinary and MSMEs. It is hoped that the activities in Labuan Bajo which involve thousands of people from outside the super priority tourism areas can have an impact on increasing local community businesses around the activity location.

He also invited the community, especially farmers and MSMEs to be able to take advantage of this moment. MSME actors are asked to be able to show quality products that they want to exhibit during these international activities. They are also encouraged to maintain cleanliness and provide maximum service to guests of the ASEAN Summit who wish to visit. Because excellent service is important, so that guests will feel satisfied and will return to the place.

On a different occasion, the Minister of Trade (Mendag) Zulkifli Hasan hopes that Indonesia’s chairmanship in ASEAN can have a big impact on Indonesian trade, especially in the MSME sector.

He added that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) scheme benefits Indonesia. The Minister of Trade assessed that large production and a variety of MSMEs are expected to boost and accelerate national economic recovery.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s chairmanship at the 2023 ASEAN Summit carries the theme ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth. Indonesia’s chairmanship at this grand event will focus on strengthening the regional economy which is growing fast, inclusive and sustainable.

On the other hand, the ASEAN Summit in NTT will also be an event for promoting Indonesian tourist destinations. The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy (Menparekraf) Sandiaga Uno is optimistic that in the future there will be many requests for direct flights to Labuan Bajo. Even from European markets such as Italy, they are also interested in making direct flights to Labuan Bajo. This interest is because the atmosphere of Labuan Bajo is considered to be similar to the Mediterranean for tourists from Italy.

On a different occasion, Chairman of the West Manggarai Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Silvester Wanggel confirmed that the occupancy rate of hotel rooms or occupancy was full during the ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo. The hotel rooms have been full since the beginning of May. In fact, those attending the ASEAN Summit were forced to rent houses from residents in Labuan Bajo.

According to him, tourists who have booked hotels in advance will still stay at the hotel they ordered. However, it is possible that they can also move to another hotel on the island. In this case, of course the committee will prioritize VVIP guests.

He also estimates that there will be 5,000 people who will come to enliven the ASEAN Summit. They consisted of state leaders and delegations from 11 ASEAN countries and the Secretary General of ASEAN, committee members, security personnel, and journalists.

Previously, the Main Director of the Labuan Bajo Flores Tourism Authority Executing Agency (BPOLBF), Shana Fatina as the local committee of the ASEAN Summit said that hotel occupancy was full at the ASEAN Summit. However, many event organizers did not get hotel rooms. Finally the committee will rent boarding houses and residents’ houses. Some of the committee will also stay at a floating hotel by renting a tour boat room.

Meanwhile, Indonesian President Joko Widodo wants all tourist attractions in Labuan Bajo to be promoted to heads of state who will attend later. Jokowi also hopes that MSMEs can present souvenirs with good quality and regional characteristics, so that guests from ASEAN countries will be interested in buying these MSME products.

The aim of the ASEAN Summit Summit in Labuan Bajo seems to be able to present its own blessings for MSME players and businesses in the accommodation sector. Of course this should be a trigger for the enthusiasm of the people who live in Labuan Bajo to improve and offer the best facilities to improve the local economy in NTT.

)* The author is a contributor to the Inti Media Institute

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