Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia has launched the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum as the flagship program of its 2023 ASEAN chairmanship to strengthen collaboration in the Indo-Pacific region.

"We continue to partner with other Pacific countries with stronger economies to support economic growth in the Indo-Pacific region," said Berlianto Situngkir, director of ASEAN economic cooperation at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, on Wednesday.

Some of the forum's activities include the Creative Economic Forum, Infrastructure Forum, ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, and Youth Conference on Digital Economy to Support SDGs (sustainable development goals).

The ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum is a collaborative step towards maintaining economic stability in the region.

In 2019, Indonesia initiated the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific to promote ASEAN centrality, openness, transparency, inclusiveness, a principles-based framework, good governance, respect for sovereignty, and a non-intervention policy.

It also seeks to promote mutual respect and mutual trust in the region, supported by underlying cooperation.

"To encourage economic growth, it is necessary to maintain a stable region, so Indonesia initiated the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific in 2019, and we are implementing it in this year's chairmanship," Situngkir said.

Indonesia is holding the ASEAN chairmanship from January 1 to December 31, 2023. Its chairmanship reflects the region's confidence in the country in navigating the realization of inclusive and sustainable growth amid global post-pandemic recovery.

The ASEAN discourse on the Indo-Pacific also covers South-South Cooperation, trade facilitation, digital economy, cross-border data flow, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), disaster risk reduction, and climate change handling.

Situngkir said the government is targeting ASEAN economic growth of 4.3 percent this year.

According to him, ASEAN member countries have high economic resilience.

The Indonesian government will strive to achieve the steps to realize the economic growth target at the upcoming 42nd ASEAN Summit.

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Translator: Bayu S, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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