Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Indonesia’s Bold Leadership Brings More Confidence: ASEAN Chief

The Jakarta Globe
April 7, 2023 | 11:05 pm
President Joko Widodo kicks off Indonesia's 2023 ASEAN chairmanship at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout in Jakarta on Jan. 29, 2023.(Infopublik/Amiriyandi)
President Joko Widodo kicks off Indonesia's 2023 ASEAN chairmanship at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout in Jakarta on Jan. 29, 2023.(Infopublik/Amiriyandi)

Jakarta. Indonesia has taken a bold approach when assuming the rotating presidency of ASEAN this year to bring more confidence to member states in the face of growing geopolitical tension and rivalries, the regional bloc’s secretary-general said in a recent interview.

“I think Indonesia has been quite bold … and has put out a lot of our economic priority deliverables. And of course, Indonesia is taking the opportunity as an ASEAN chair to really advance the ASEAN agenda and interest, which is very important,” Kao Kim Hourn said in an interview with Jakarta-based news broadcaster BTV aired on Thursday.

“We believe in ourselves, we believe in what we do. That’s why the agenda of Indonesia as chairman this year puts a very wonderful theme: ASEAN matters, the epicentrum of growth.”


Many economic priorities have been put on the agenda this year to speed up the post-pandemic economic recovery in Southeast Asia, the Cambodian diplomat added.

“And in particular Indonesia is focused on the digital economy and also on the MSMEs which of course is very important to the overall economy of ASEAN -- 90 percent of the ASEAN economy is based on MSMEs,” Hourn told BTV host Pudja Lestari.

As the ongoing war in Ukraine puts global peace and security at risk, ASEAN will use all of its platforms to reduce tension in the region and promote confidence and trust among external partners such as the US and China, he said.

“We certainly want to see more dialogues, more consultations, and of course more engagements with each other through all the ASEAN-led mechanisms,” Hourn said, adding that the focus is on conflict prevention.

“That’s why it’s important to us to really be the key driving force for peace and stability and for the public good in our region,” he said.

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