Jakarta (ANTARA) - All partner countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) support the region in becoming the epicenter of economic growth, according to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

During the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) in Jakarta, which was held from July 11 to 14, 2023, several economic cooperations were discussed, including food security, energy transition, health, and financial stability, she noted.

"This shows that amid the current situation, Indonesia's chairmanship remains strong in its efforts to make Southeast Asia the epicenter of growth ... and this is also supported by all of our partner countries," she said at a press conference after the AMM on Friday.

She explained that the implementation of these cooperations would be discussed in greater detail and with more concrete plans by ASEAN sectoral ministers responsible for the economic field.

Regarding food security, Indonesia has proposed the ASEAN Leaders' Declaration on Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Response to Crisis, which will be approved at the 43rd ASEAN Summit in September.

The draft of the declaration includes, among other things, collaboration among all relevant sectors in ASEAN to ensure food availability during crises and supply chain security in the face of disruptions.

"Apart from that, Indonesia has also proposed food security cooperation with partner countries, such as India, Canada, Russia, Australia, and Turkey," she said.

For energy transition, including the development of the regional electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem, ASEAN leaders agreed during the 42nd ASEAN Summit in 2022 to build an EV ecosystem in the region.

Cooperation to support energy transition and reduce transportation emissions has been prioritized during the meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers with dialogue partner countries.

As for financial stability, ASEAN has received support from China, Japan, and South Korea (ASEAN Plus Three) in developing the use of local currencies to facilitate regional transactions.

"All of these are the support given by partner countries to make ASEAN the epicenter of growth," Marsudi said.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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