Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi highlighted the importance of ASEAN-India cooperation in food security.

At the ASEAN Foreign Post-Ministerial Conference with India’s External Affairs Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, on Thursday, Marsudi stated that cooperation in food security is important as the populations of ASEAN and India have kept growing.

"Therefore, we need to invest effort to ensure food availability, accessibility, and affordability in times of crisis," Marsudi stressed.

Indonesia is hosting the 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship, wherein it is determined to direct ASEAN cooperation this year to continue and strengthen the bloc's relevance in responding to regional and global challenges.

India, which is one of the ASEAN Dialogue Partners, will participate in the East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers' Meeting and attend the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Jakarta on Friday (July 14).

Related news: India pursuing to intensify cooperation with ASEAN: Jaishankar

According to Marsudi, cooperation between ASEAN and India must focus on establishing sustainable food supply chains through unimpeded trade, dialogues, and transparent government policies.

She also said the region encourages long-term collaboration in agriculture technology and research system to increase local food production while benefiting small-scale farmers.

"This is why Indonesia proposes a Joint Leaders’ Statement on Strengthening Cooperation on Food Security in Times of Crisis for adoption at the upcoming ASEAN-India Summit," Marsudi remarked.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar said India welcomes further cooperation with the ASEAN, particularly in the areas of cybersecurity, finance, and maritime security.

He remarked that ASEAN is an important pillar of India's Act East Policy, which is India's efforts in expanding strategic cooperation with Southeast Asian nations.

Indonesia emphasizes ASEAN's centrality in maintaining regional peace and stability; building an inclusive regional architecture; and bolstering cooperation in food security, health, cybersecurity, climate change, digital economy, blue economy, and trade.

Relations between the ASEAN and India had become a comprehensive strategic partnership since November 2022.

Related news: Indonesia stresses food security synergy in ASEAN commitment

Translator: Shofi A, Kenzu
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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