Strengthening cooperation is the key to surmounting the pandemic and starting economic recovery.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) believes that intensifying cooperation within the framework of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) is the key to economic recovery in the region.

“Strengthening cooperation is the key to surmounting the pandemic and starting economic recovery,” the president noted while addressing the 14th BIMP-EAGA Summit held virtually from the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java on Thursday.

Indonesia is currently chairman of the BIMP-EAGA Summit. As the meeting's chairman, he noted that the BIMP-EAGA had forged concrete cooperation among areas in the eastern part of Asia since being set up in 1994.

BIMP-EAGA has also contributed to developing the sub-regional economy through improving connectivity and competitiveness in the fields of trade, tourism, and investment, he remarked.

“However, our efforts during the pandemic faced a large challenge. We lost almost two years to achieve various targets in the BIMP-EAGA 2025 vision, particularly to create a tough, inclusive, sustainable, and competitive region, with priorities in the green industry, agriculture, and tourism,” he stated.

Related news: ASEAN+3: Widodo underlines three focuses to toughen health resilience

Developing countries in Asia and Southeast Asia are showing signs of economic recovery.

"The ADB (Asian Development Bank) has forecast economic growth in developing countries in Asia to reach 7.1 percent in 2021 and to touch 3.1 percent in 2021 in Southeast Asia. We must ensure that the growth projection can be achieved,” he stated.

The president expressed optimism that through this meeting, state leaders would be able to exchange views to realize the BIMP-EAGA 2025 vision and feel confident that strong concrete cooperation would help recover the economy that lagged behind other countries in the past couple of years.

“I hope this morning we would be able to exchange views to achieve the BIMP-EAGA 2025 vision through innovations and more effective, efficient, productive, and mutually beneficial cooperation,” he emphasized.

Related news: Jokowi calls for mutually respectful partnership at ASEAN-China Summit

Translator: Desca Lidya N, Suharto
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2021