A concrete and inclusive cooperation is essential to ease tension in the Indo-Pacific
Labuan Bajo, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) invited members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to work in synergy to ease the rising tension in the Indo-Pacific region that covers the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean.

The president made the call during the retreat session of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Thursday.

According to Jokowi, one way to reduce tension in the region was by implementing the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

"A concrete and inclusive cooperation is essential to ease tension in the Indo-Pacific. We can use the AOIP as a concrete platform for the cooperation with partner countries," he remarked.

Indo-Pacific is the world's fastest-growing region that accounts for 65 percent of the global economy. The region has been a stage of struggles of influence of the world's powers due to the fact that half of the world's population resides in the region.

On Indonesia's initiative, ASEAN launched the AOIP in 2019 to affirm the bloc's stance in playing its role to maintain peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

The AOIP prioritizes the practices of open and inclusive dialogue and cooperation instead of competition and rivalry. Through the outlook, ASEAN affirms that it will not bandwagon to any great powers and will continue to maintain peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

At the 2023 ASEAN Summit, Indonesia will hold several main events under the ASEAN-Indo-Pacific forum as part of the efforts to implement the AOIP.

During its chairmanship this year, Indonesia adopted the theme of "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth" that reflects its will to make ASEAN important and relevant as the world's center of growth.

Indonesia is seeking to strengthen ASEAN's capacity and institutional effectiveness in hopes of readying the bloc to face challenges in the next two decades.

The chair is also committed to escorting the Southeast Asian region towards ASEAN 2045 by making it more adaptive, responsive, and competitive through various measures that are in line with the principles found in the ASEAN Charter.

In addition, Indonesia is willing to lead the ASEAN countries in efforts to strengthen economic recovery and make the region an engine of sustainable growth.

The ASEAN was established in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 8, 1967. Today, the association comprises 10 regional countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

In November 2022, the member countries agreed, in principle, to accept Timor-Leste as the 11th member of ASEAN. Currently, Timor-Leste is taking steps required to gain full membership of the bloc.

Related news: ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum aims to strengthen collaboration: ministry
Related news: Indonesia prioritizes strengthening of ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific
Related news: Govt, Kadin strengthen Indo-Pacific trade cooperation through IPCC

Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2023