Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) highlighted the importance of strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation between ASEAN countries and ASEAN dialogue partners during the series of the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The head of state also continued to emphasize the importance of maintaining peace and respecting international law to create regional stability.

At the 26th ASEAN-China Summit, President Jokowi, in his remarks, underlined that China is one of the four ASEAN dialogue partners that have the status of Comprehensive Strategic Partner.

He also noted that 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

The president invited all parties to interpret those facts by realizing concrete cooperation that is mutually beneficial.

According to the president, that cooperation will only be possible with mutual trust that needs to be built and maintained by all parties, one of which is by respecting international law.

The 26th ASEAN-China Summit agreed on strengthening regional cooperation to improve economic welfare and realize the goal of Southeast Asia to become a center of economic growth, especially with the upgrading of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) 3.0 and the full implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Furthermore, at the 24th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit, President Jokowi noted that the main pillars of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea partnership are energy transition and digital transformation.

The president emphasized the need for reducing ASEAN's dependence on fossil fuels. He further noted that ASEAN's digital economy is expected to contribute US$1 trillion to the regional gross domestic product (GDP).

To this end, he highlighted the importance of ASEAN-Republic of Korea collaboration and partnership in energy transition and digital transformation.

He also accentuated that regional stability should be maintained to achieve future partnership. This, he believes, is a shared responsibility for those in the Indo-Pacific region.

At the 26th ASEAN-Japan Summit, President Jokowi invited Japan to increase its contributions to supporting connectivity and green infrastructure in the ASEAN region.

He stated that the ASEAN needs infrastructure investments, with an annual cost of US$184 billion. The ASEAN is hopeful that Japan continues to boost its contribution to the region through the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund and ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility to support connectivity and green infrastructure.

"ASEAN and Japan have agreed to form a Strategic Comprehensive Partnership beyond ceremonial formalities and small talks, but rather, a tangible concrete cooperation that is mutually beneficial," President Jokowi noted in his remarks.

At Wednesday's summit, Jokowi stated that Japan is one of ASEAN's most active partners and a proponent of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

He assessed that Japan could become the main contributor in realizing concrete cooperation that directly offers benefits to the people.

He noted that geographically, both the ASEAN and Japan are part of Asia. To this end, he assessed that the two have a major responsibility to keep the region peaceful, stable, and prosperous.

Meanwhile, at the 26th ASEAN Plus Three Summit with China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, President Jokowi voiced the need to develop and create new cooperation opportunities.

He noted that development of the green economy could become one of the priorities of ASEAN and the three countries.

Jokowi also invited the three countries to collectively maintain regional peace and stability by continuing to respect international law. He assessed that cooperation opportunities could be disrupted if peace and stability in the region cannot be maintained.

Furthermore, at the 11th ASEAN-US Summit, President Jokowi invited the United States (US) to become a positive force to ensure the Indo-Pacific remains a stable, peaceful, and prosperous region through inclusive and concrete cooperation.

In front of US Vice President Kamala Harris and ASEAN leaders, he highlighted that Southeast Asia is a very promising region. He explained that the region is predicted to become the heart of international trade by 2045 and contribute 5.4 percent to the global gross domestic product (GDP).

Hence, a solid and sustainable partnership will not only benefit ASEAN but also the US, he remarked.

Meanwhile, at the ASEAN-Canada Summit, he welcomed the ASEAN-Canada relations that entered the new level of Strategic Partnership.

He stated that Canada is a strategic partner for ASEAN in building food security, the downstream industry, as well as in building open and just trade in the region.

He expressed hope that Canada, as a Strategic Partner, will become an anchor for peace and stability that respects international law and encourages more concrete and inclusive cooperation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

The 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits are held in Jakarta on September 5-7, 2023, and are attended by ASEAN dialogue partners, namely Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Canada, the US, Russia, and India.

In addition, Bangladesh, as chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), and the Cook Islands, as chair of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF), are invited.

The 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits are held under Indonesia's ASEAN chairmanship in 2023. Indonesia is holding the ASEAN chairmanship in 2023 with the theme of "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth."

Through the theme, Indonesia aims to bring ASEAN to become an economic region that grows rapidly, inclusively, and sustainably as well as to become a center of economic growth in the region and the world.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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