Jakarta. National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian assured investors that Southeast Asia is one of the safest regions in the world as it lacks intraregional conflict, unlike many other parts of the world.
"Our region is peaceful. There has been no intraregional conflict in here for years, or since we founded Asean [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] in 1967," Tito said at the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) in Jakarta on Monday (20/11).
In comparison with other parts of the world, Southeast Asia has been peaceful, with all nations in the region maintaining friendly relations with each other, he said.
Tito cited as an example, escalating tensions between countries in the rest of Asia, such as the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the long-term standoff between Taiwan and mainland China, and ethnic and religious conflicts in the Middle East.
However, despite countries in Southeast Asia having managed to maintain peaceful relations, intrastate armed conflict has been a persistent feature. This includes a five-month-long armed conflict between government and forces and Islamic militants in Marawi City in the southern Philippines, which ended recently, and the ongoing Rohingya crisis in Myanmar's Rakhine State, which has resulted in up to 600,000 people fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.
"Investors, do not hesitate to invest in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia, as we have the largest market in the region," the four-star general said.
He said Indonesia can become a dominant country as it has a large population, abundant natural resources and a young demography.
Tito said with every country now fighting for economic supremacy, as opposed to military supremacy like in the past, a nation with a strong economy will come to dominate the global economy in the future.
Indonesia is currently ranked in 16th place among the world's top 20 countries with the largest economies. The Southeast Asian country is forecast to become the fifth-largest economy in the world by 2035 and the fourth-largest by 2045, he said.
Tito said to keep up this momentum, Indonesia needs to maintain security and political stability, especially ahead of the upcoming 2019 presidential elections.
The general added that the National Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI) are key to this and that the two institutions need to coordinate well and maintain a good relationship.
"We must have an outward-looking approach, instead of inward-looking. We must challenge our competitors in other countries, instead of turning our own people into our rivals. It is fine to have a political dynamic in a country, but do not let ethnic and religious issues get in the way," Tito said.