Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia has made a major contribution to economic growth in the ASEAN region, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has said.

This contribution has been evident during Indonesia's chairmanship, particularly in the successful holding of the 43rd High-Level Conference (Summit) of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that resulted in the Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA).

"ASEAN is a stable region, and Indonesia contributes to the political stability and economic growth of ASEAN," Minister Hartarto said at the UOB Gateway to ASEAN Conference 2023 here on Wednesday.

In addition, Indonesia is one of the countries in ASEAN where investors' profitability is protected so investment in the country is safe and profitable, he added.

According to Hartarto, the results of the ASEAN-Indo Pacific Forum (AIPF) have also strengthened the commitment of ASEAN countries to make the region the epicenter of global economic growth in the future.

Based on International Monetary Fund (IMF) data, ASEAN economic growth can be said to be solid. It reached 5.6 percent in 2022, and is predicted to reach 4.2 percent in 2023, and increase to 4.5 percent in 2024.

The total value of trade in goods in the ASEAN region reached an unprecedented level of US$3.8 trillion in 2022, an increase of 14.9 percent from US$3.3 trillion in 2021.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows also struck a record high of US$224.2 billion in 2022, an increase of 5.5 percent from US$212.4 billion in 2021.

"Connectivity is the key to integrated economic development in the region. ASEAN has been equipped with the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 to strengthen regional connectivity and to increase synergy and collaboration between sub-regional cooperation initiatives," Hartarto said.

He also underlined that added value manufacturing has become Indonesia's policy to advance industrialization.

Indonesia has also launched local currency transactions (LCT) with 5 ASEAN countries so that transactions outside Indonesia can be made using the Quick Response (QR) Code from each country, while reducing dependence on the use of the United States dollar in the ASEAN region.

"If we can expand this financial institution sector more deeply, and involve banking, I think it is important to stabilize the economy in ASEAN, especially to protect MSMEs from fluctuations in foreign exchange rates and geopolitical situations," the minister said.

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Translator: Bayu Saputra, Katriana
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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