"Indonesia`s Indo-Pacific cooperation concept promises a mutually beneficial geopolitical situation by prioritizing collaboration for a common interest, including the creation of new growth centers," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stated at the Jakarta Geopolitical Forum 2018 organized by the Indonesian National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) here on Wednesday.
Strengthening cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region is a strategic issue for Indonesia and ASEAN, which is located in the midst of the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, she said.
Indonesia will direct the Indo-Pacific concept to enhance maritime cooperation, connectivity, and a sustainable development agenda by respecting international laws and norms, Retno Marsudi said.
The Indo-Pacific concept that Indonesia is striving to offer aims to connect the Pacific Ocean region that already has good infrastructure and cooperation, with the Indian Ocean region being established in cooperation with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
According to the foreign minister, connecting the two regions is expected to create new growth centers in the IORA member countries.
"If there is a spread of new economic growth centers, then the hope will be an increase in welfare that will support peace," she stated.
To develop this concept, Indonesia had held a dialogue with ASEAN countries, as ASEAN`s centrality is vital to be maintained in the development of Indo-Pacific cooperation.
Indonesia`s concept will provide added value to the existing ASEAN cooperation mechanism, especially to strengthen the East Asia Summit.
In addition, Indonesia has submitted this concept proposal to several partners, such as China, Russia, the United States, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and India.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stressed that the development of an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific concept is based on the spirit of cooperation that has become Indonesia`s DNA and the DNA of ASEAN.
"The DNA of ASEAN is to develop partnership and cooperation. This is since history has taught us that cooperation will be better than competition," she added.
Reporting by Yashinta Difa Pramudyani
Editing by Eliswan Azly