Jokowi Attends Belt and Road Forum, Pushes Forward Asean Connectivity

President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo said on Wednesday (21/02) that he understands the concerns of civil society groups over a recent amendment to the MD3 law. (Reuters Photo/Bobby Yip)

By : Sheany | on 2:15 PM May 14, 2017
Category : News, Featured, Foreign Affairs

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Sunday (14/05), where more than 20 world leaders and representatives of 130 countries are expected to discuss China's initiative to revive and expand an ancient network of trade routes, the Silk Road.

According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir, in the two-day forum Indonesia will focus on opportunities to speed up its infrastructure development, particularly for ports, toll roads and railways.

"We will also push forward the blueprints for Asean connectivity and our own national infrastructure ... We see this meeting as a good opportunity to increase cooperation in capacity-building," Arrmanatha said during a press briefing on Friday.

Asean connectivity is a concept comprising physical connectivity (transportation, information technology, energy), institutional connectivity (facilitation of trade in goods, investment) and people-to-people connectivity (education, culture, tourism).

The ministry's director for East Asia and Pacific, Edi Yusup, said that Jokowi will be speaking at two sessions in the forum. He is also scheduled to meet with Swiss President Doris Leuthard, Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe "Frank" Bainimarama, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and Polish President Andrzej Duda on the sidelines of the forum.

Belt and Road Forum

Lauded as the international economic and foreign policy event of the year, China's Belt and Road Forum is dedicated to the "One Belt One Road" concept, which aims to revive and expand the ancient trade routes to re-connect Asia with Europe and Africa.

In March, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement that the initiative has become "the most popular public goods and the platform for international cooperation with the brightest prospects in the world." The forum, according to him will "build consensus and connect development strategies of various countries" as it "examines cooperation and finalize major projects in infrastructure connectivity, trade and investment, financial support, and people-to-people exchanges."

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