Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Photo: CNN)
At the ASEAN-US Summit, Indonesia affirmed the US is among strategic partners of ASEAN in the region.
According to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who is on behalf of President Joko Widodo, headed the Indonesian delegation at the meeting, over the past four years, the US has remained the second largest trading partner and investors of ASEAN, with two-way trade increasing by 39 percent to 294.6 billion USD. The US’s investment in the region also rose to 24.5 billion USD.
In energy, the two sides announced a long-term cooperation plan for 2021-2025. They have promoted cooperation cooperation in the digital economic area through a programme on raising capacity for 4,000 micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Bilateral cooperation in healthcare has been also improved in the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit, Indonesian President Joko Widodo called for stronger partnership between the two sides in a number of issues.
He said ASEAN and New Zealand needs to strengthen their cooperation to promote multilateralism.
He called on the two sides to promote regional economic integration for mutual benefit, while welcoming New Zealand's decision to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
At the ASEAN-Australia Summit, Widodo emphasised the need to enhance economic integration and ensure security in the region.
Stability and security in the region are "the foundation" for efforts to post-COVID-19 economic recovery, he said, while highlighting the importance of implementing programmes in the framework of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
The ASEAN-Australia partnership could be the "main pillar" of the cooperation model for peace, stability and prosperity in the region, he affirmed.
Previously, at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ASEAN BIS) 2020 on November 13, Widodo spotlighted the importance of promoting digitalisation in areas and conducting a comprehensive digital revolution, towards forming a useful digital ecosystem in the region.
The digital economy must be able to support MSMEs in joining global supply chains because these businesses are the backbone, accounting for 89-99 percent of the regional economy, he said, noting that accelerating the digital transformation in MSMEs will help revive the regional economy.
The Indonesian leader also called for enhanced regional cooperation to remove digital trade barriers and build a firm legal system, thus promoting the partnership between the government and the private sector towards fostering regional connectivity./.