The Community Appreciates Indonesia’s Chairmanship in ASEAN
By: Dwi Cahya Alfarizi
Indonesia will become Chair of ASEAN in 2023. This position is appreciated by the people who are expected to be able to advance the economy, both in the Association of South East Asia Nation (ASEAN) region and throughout Indonesia.
ASEAN is an economic and political union of 10 countries in Southeast Asia which was founded on August 8, 1967 in Thailand. Indonesia is an active member of ASEAN, apart from Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Timor Leste.
Indonesia became the Chair of ASEAN in 2023. The inauguration was marked by a kick off event and the beating of a tambourine by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at the Indonesia Hotel Roundabout on Sunday morning, January 29 2023. From the Merdeka Palace, President Jokowi came by pedaling a bamboo bicycle to Sudirman street. He got off and walked to the event location with a number of ambassadors and permanent representatives from friendly countries.
President Jokowi expressed optimism that ASEAN will remain relevant and become an important center of economic growth in the region. President Jokowi stated that ASEAN is still important and relevant for the people, for the region, and for the world.
The public appreciates President Jokowi’s government which succeeded in making Indonesia the Chair of ASEAN. It is hoped that this position will advance the economy, not only in the ASEAN region but also throughout Indonesia.
Currently, the Indonesian economy is in a recovery situation after a 3-year pandemic and the government is also struggling not to get caught up in the threat of a global recession. By becoming the Chair of ASEAN, Indonesia’s position is very strategic because it is facilitated in cooperating with other ASEAN member countries in economic terms.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi stated that the theme of ASEAN 2023 was “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”. This theme consists of two major elements, namely ASEAN Matters and Epicentrum of Growth. ASEAN as a growth center shows that economic growth in the ASEAN region always grows higher than other countries outside ASEAN.
Minister Retno continued, if you look at the history of ASEAN it is always related to economic problems and almost all the time it shows that economic growth in the ASEAN region has always been higher than the world’s. For the 2023 projection, for example, the ADB’s projection for ASEAN growth is 4.7%, while the World Bank’s projection for world economic growth is 1.7%.
There are various ways to strengthen the country’s growth, one of which is by strengthening the health sector. In addition, Foreign Minister Retno also said that development would be carried out in the fields of energy, food and strengthening for financial cooperation. The Indo-Pacific is a very strategic area. That way, his party wants to take an approach from the aspects of security, economy, and also development.
Foreign Minister Retno continued, therefore, during Indonesia’s chairmanship, the flagship event will be the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum. Within the ASEAN Indo-pacific Forum there will be four main activities. One is related to the creative economy, the second is digital economy for SDGs for sustainable development goals, the third is the business and investment summit, and the fourth is infrastructure.
As Chair of ASEAN, Indonesia’s position is very strategic and its duties include: chairing a high-level conference or summit, a Coordinating Council, three Community Councils, related Sectoral Ministries and senior officials, and the Permanent Representative Committee. The ASEAN Chair in office must actively promote and enhance the interests and welfare of the members.
The people hope that by becoming ASEAN Chair, Indonesia’s economy will be even better. Especially for people whose financial condition has decreased during the pandemic. By becoming the Chair of ASEAN, the Indonesian government will increase cooperation with ASEAN countries, especially in the economic field, and prosper its people.
Indonesia is determined to direct ASEAN cooperation in 2023 to continue and strengthen ASEAN’s relevance in responding to regional and global challenges, as well as strengthening ASEAN’s position as the center of regional economic growth, for the prosperity of the people in Southeast Asia.
It is hoped that with this cooperation, Indonesia’s economic situation will improve. In addition, businessmen from Singapore, Malaysia and other countries will pay more attention to Indonesia. They will inject investment funds because they see the huge investment opportunity in this country.
With investment it will reduce unemployment and overcome the economic problems of the Indonesian people. The reason is because the investment funds will be used for factories and other businesses, so that people can apply for jobs. They will get a steady income and their economy will stabilize again.
The public appreciates that Indonesia is the Chair of ASEAN, because it will have a positive impact on the country’s economy. There will be more cooperation and investment from other ASEAN member countries. The financial condition of the country and its people will grow again, even better than before the pandemic.
)* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute