President Jokowi Emphasizes ASEAN-Australia Cooperation on 50th Anniversary at Special Summit

President Jokowi Emphasizes ASEAN-Australia Cooperation on 50th Anniversary at Special Summit

Melbourne, The Gulf Observer: President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) underlined the significance of collaboration between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia on the occasion of their 50th year of bilateral cooperation. Speaking during the 2024 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit plenary session in Melbourne, President Jokowi highlighted the shared responsibility of both entities in maintaining regional stability, peace, and prosperity.

In his remarks, President Jokowi acknowledged the longstanding partnership, with Australia being the oldest dialogue partner and a strategic comprehensive connector to the Pacific region. He emphasized the common purpose and responsibility of ASEAN and Australia in ensuring stability and prosperity in the region.

Looking forward, President Jokowi projected ASEAN to become a global economic powerhouse, ranking as the fourth-largest economy by 2040. He stressed the importance of Australia’s support in optimizing the potential of Southeast Asia, particularly its young and highly literate workforce, totaling 650 million people.

Encouraging stronger economic integration, President Jokowi advocated for increased investment in the region and called on Australia to open more investment opportunities for ASEAN. He highlighted existing cooperation frameworks such as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

President Jokowi commended Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for his commitment to cooperation, pushing for the realization of Australia’s commitment valued at US$28.1 billion. Additionally, he emphasized the role of Australia in supporting ASEAN’s climate response and economic digital cooperation through investments, innovative financing, and technology transfer.

Addressing environmental concerns, President Jokowi expressed opposition to discriminatory campaigns lacking scientific evidence under the guise of environmental sustainability. He urged Australian business partners to contribute to the development of ASEAN’s electric vehicle ecosystem, citing Australia’s nickel industry’s investment in Morowali, Central Sulawesi.

President Jokowi praised the initiation of the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement negotiation process and expressed hope for Australia’s support in capability and knowledge improvement, fostering strong public and private partnerships.

In conclusion, President Jokowi reiterated that ASEAN and Australia shared a common future and emphasized their role as drivers in realizing a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. He reaffirmed their status as great partners for the present and the future.