Speaking at the event, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto emphasized that connectivity is the key to developing inclusive economic development in the ASEAN region.

Besides policy making, it is necessary to boost regional infrastructure development and connectivity in ASEAN, he said.

Participants at the 14th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium in Jakarta, Indonesia (Photo: ekon.go.id)

He said the launch of the Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) in the momentum of Indonesia's Chairmanship in ASEAN this year will double the value of the digital economy in ASEAN by 2030, from 1 trillion USD to 2 trillion USD. The sustainable economic agenda will also be accelerated through the development of a regional electric vehicle ecosystem.

Furthermore, ASEAN countries are also committed to developing the Post-2025 ASEAN Connectivity Agenda as part of the Post-2025 ASEAN Community. In this regard, the development of the Post-2025 ASEAN Connectivity Agenda will be carried out with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) as the main reference. The Indonesian official said that he hopes that the Post-2025 ASEAN Connectivity Agenda will accommodate action plans that are in line with the implementation of Local Currency Transactions (LCT) and ASEAN's plans to develop an electric vehicle ecosystem.

President of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Professor Tetsuya Watanabe said that ASEAN connectivity has proven to be the basis of ASEAN's post-pandemic recovery strategy which involves policy coordination, pooling resources, and forming partnerships to strengthen regional resilience so that it becomes stronger.

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Economic Community Satvinder Singh said that ASEAN must continue to build capacity and strengthen its regional foothold to maximize the benefits of ASEAN connectivity and the ASEAN Economic Community.

The ASEAN economy has shown positive performance in the last decade with an average growth of 4-5%. In 2022, the ASEAN economy grew at 5.7% year-on-year and is predicted to continue to grow positively in 2023. In the world, the ASEAN region is the 5th largest economy and the 4th largest exporter, and in 2022 it became the world’s second-largest destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction.

The growth of the ASEAN economy supported by the connectivity will help boost regional resilience in 2023 and the following years. At the 43rd ASEAN Summit held last September, commitments related to ASEAN connectivity were made, among other things, to ensure effective implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and Mid-Term Review (MTRs) recommendations to the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025.

Source: VNA