Jakarta (ANTARA) - Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Kao Kim Hourn considers Indonesia as having played a strategically important role in maintaining and operating the ASEAN chairmanship this year.

"I think Indonesia has been very strategically intelligent in playing a very important role in this year’s chairmanship of ASEAN," ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn said in a special interview with ANTARA on Thursday.

Hourn noted that the selection of the theme for Indonesia's ASEAN chairmanship this year has also shown that ASEAN is an important regional organization.

"Under Indonesia's leadership, ASEAN is (seen as) quite important ... because the theme 'ASEAN Matters' implies that ASEAN does matter to the region and to the global community, what we do and how we conduct ourselves for the role we are playing," he said.

In addition to the "ASEAN Matters" pillar, he said that the "Epicentrum of Growth" pillar in the theme was also the right choice made by Indonesia since ASEAN, which has recorded quite rapid economic growth so that it deserves to be considered as the foundation of growth.

"Regarding the 'Epicentrum of growth' ... we (ASEAN) are now indeed the epicentrum of growth. In terms of economy, our economic growth this year is expected to reach 4.7 percent, which is way above the predicted global average growth," Hourn 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 the centrality of ASEAN.

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: Tia Mutiasari
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