…when ASEAN is doing well and (is) prosperous…and when ASEAN is independent and resilient...all of us are better off.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Ambassador of the United States to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Yohannes Abraham said the theme of Indonesia’s ASEAN chairmanship this year, “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,” is highly relevant to current global developments.

"I think the theme of Indonesia's chairmanship is very relevant. We believe that ASEAN matters a lot because ASEAN has a critical role in regional architecture and a critical voice in global issues. It's important for all of us," he observed during a special interview with ANTARA on Friday.

Abraham said that ASEAN is incredibly important and matters to the United States. For this reason, the US is strongly supporting ASEAN centrality.

"We think ASEAN has (an) incredible (and) important role to play in regional and global issues that matter to all of us, and as President Biden has said that ASEAN is at the heart of the Indo-Pacific strategy. So, this is why you have seen the fact that we are very proud that US businesses are the number one foreign direct investment sources in ASEAN," he remarked.

"So ASEAN matters a lot to the United States, and we are very grateful to be a long-time reliable partner for ASEAN as ASEAN has been to us," he added.

For this reason, according to Abraham, the US is really keen to help support economic growth in the ASEAN region.

"We also very much want to help support what has been the economic growth story in the region and continue to see economic growth in the region because we believe that when ASEAN is doing well and (is) prosperous … and when ASEAN is independent and resilient...all of us are better off," he said.

Indonesia has chosen the theme of “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth” to reflect that ASEAN is an important and relevant region as a center of global economic growth.

There are three important elements linked to “ASEAN Matters,” namely, strengthening the capacity and effectiveness of ASEAN, ASEAN unity, and ASEAN centrality.

Meanwhile, under the “Epicentrum of Growth” pillar, Indonesia is seeking to ensure important elements in the region, such as health architecture, energy security, food security, and financial stability.

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Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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