Southeast Asia's Rise as World's New Economic Force

Southeast Asia's Rise as World's New Economic Force

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) demonstrated its confidence in becoming a global economic powerhouse at a summit held in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia from May 10-11.

Indonesia chaired this year's 42nd ASEAN Summit, providing leadership for the event.

During the summit's opening session on May 10, Indonesian President Joko Widodo highlighted ASEAN's strengths, such as being an epicenter of growth with an economy that surpasses average global economic growth, benefiting from demographic advantages and sustained regional stability.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, quoted by Vietnam News Agency, emphasized three core factors of ASEAN's characteristics — values, vitality, and reputation — which have enabled the regional bloc to maintain independence, strategic self-reliance, transform into a growth epicenter, and adapt better to external shocks.

In an April report, the Asian Development Bank projected resilient economic growth of 4.8 percent in the Asia-Pacific region for this year and the next, an increase from 4.2 percent in 2022.

Leaders and senior officials engaged in productive bilateral and multilateral meetings during the summit. For instance, President Widodo met with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on May 9 to discuss joint efforts towards achieving a bilateral trade target of $15 billion by 2028.

On the same day, Indonesia and Timor-Leste leaders agreed to establish a joint working group for economic development in their border areas, with immediate talks proposed for a bilateral investment treaty.

Highlighting the opportunities in the electric vehicle (EV) sector, Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno emphasized ASEAN's role as an epicenter of growth during a news conference on May 10. Indonesia has been actively promoting EV use in the region to reduce emissions as part of the ongoing energy transition.

During the summit, an agreement was ratified to develop a regional EV ecosystem, aiming to establish ASEAN as a global production hub for the EV industry.

ASEAN has set a target to raise the proportion of renewable energy in its energy mix to 23 percent by 2025, aligning with its vision for a low-carbon future. President Widodo also mentioned the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as a step towards reinforcing inclusive cooperation for ASEAN's future.

The RCEP, involving 15 Asia-Pacific countries, including the 10 ASEAN member states and five trading partners (China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand), is recognized as the world's largest free trade area. It covers a significant portion of the global population, contributes to a substantial share of global GDP (approximately 30 percent), and represents a considerable portion of global trade in goods and services (over a quarter).

Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno acknowledged the mutually beneficial relationship between China and ASEAN, as they are each other's largest trading partners, contributing positively to the world economy.

The International Monetary Fund's April World Economic Outlook report stated that the reopening and growth of China's economy will likely have positive spillover effects on countries with strong trade links and reliance on Chinese tourism.

Minister Sandiaga Uno emphasized the importance of achieving more equitable, sustainable, and higher-quality trade and investment operations between ASEAN and China after China's reopening of its borders.

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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