The question is whether ASEAN will only watch (the development of these situations), or ASEAN will stay idle, or ASEAN will be able to encourage (global) peace and growth.
Labuan Bajo, NTT (ANTARA) - Unity is the key for ASEAN to contribute to global peace and growth, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) emphasized while inaugurating the plenary session of the 42nd ASEAN Summit here on Wednesday.

The president noted that currently, the global economy has not fully recovered, while international competition aggravates and dynamics are increasingly unpredictable.

"The question is whether the ASEAN will only watch (the development of these situations), or ASEAN will stay idle, or ASEAN will be able to encourage (global) peace and growth," he remarked.

He believes that the ASEAN could become a driver of global peace and growth.

"By upholding unity, ASEAN will be able to become a major actor in realizing (global) peace and growth," the president stated.

ASEAN has the potential to become the epicenter of growth since economic growth of its member countries had been far above the world’s average, he stated.

In addition, relatively maintained regional stability and demographic dividend were other potentials of the region, he noted.

Hence, Jokowi invited all ASEAN member countries to strengthen their economic integration; inclusive cooperation, including the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); as well as health, food, energy, and financial stability architectures.

"Let us strive to make ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth," he affirmed.

By 2030, ASEAN's digital economy is estimated to reach US$2 trillion (Rp29,661.56 trillion), Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stated at the ASEAN Youth Dialogue on Development for Sustainable Development Goals in Jakarta on April 11, 2023.

The amount is equal to around 28 percent of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), she said, as quoted from the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s website.

In addition, the region will experience a demographic dividend, with the youth constituting one-third of ASEAN's population, she stated.

Meanwhile, the 42nd ASEAN Summit is being held in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai District, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province, on May 9-11, 2023.

As the chair of ASEAN 2023, Indonesia seeks to strengthen the institutional capacity and effectiveness of ASEAN, so the region will be able to respond to the challenges in the next 20 years.

Indonesia will also prepare the ASEAN Post-2025 Vision towards ASEAN 2045 that needs to be more adaptive, responsive, and competitive according to the ASEAN Way and the ASEAN Charter.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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