Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that if ASEAN countries continue to be solid with mutual trust, then the region can play a central role and will remain relevant.

"The outlook of mutual trust and ASEAN solidity is very important, including solidity between ASEAN member governments, ASEAN member parliaments, and with other stakeholders. If the ASEAN is solid, then the ASEAN can play its central role and continue to be relevant," he noted at the opening of the 44th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in Jakarta, Monday.

Moreover, the president underscored the need for the government, parliament, and all stakeholders in the region to work for the welfare of the ASEAN community.

According to Jokowi, ASEAN's economic growth continues to be stable and is considered worldwide as one of the motors of world economic growth.

"As Chair of ASEAN, Indonesia wants ASEAN to remain as the center of world economic growth and the epicenter of growth," he affirmed.

Hence, President Jokowi suggested that ASEAN economic integration must continue to be strengthened, supported by the removal of trade barriers between ASEAN partners and increase in mutually beneficial economic cooperation.

He also reminded that the parliament is the representative voice of the people. Hence, the opening of the ASEAN charter that began with the words "We, the Peoples" means that the public's aspirations must be put forward.

"It has been 56 years that the ASEAN has contributed greatly to peace and stability in the region. However, we must work hard since regional peace and stability must always be realized," he remarked.

He also emphasized that the ASEAN needs to maintain an outlook of mutual trust and solidity in order to jointly strive for regional peace and stability.

"For this matter, ASEAN (members) must cooperate and trust each other to become a leader in maintaining peace and stability in the region," he said.

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Translator: Indra Arief P, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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