Indonesian President View on ASEAN Economic New Hopes after Covid 19

Joko Widodo speach in ASEAN Business and Investment
Screenshoot of Presidential secretariat youtube account

Indonesian President, Joko Widodo said that the situation in the ASEAN region is now starting to improve. This brings new hope for the ASEAN economy. The statement was delivered at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, October 25, 2021. 

“In the past week, Covid-19 cases in ASEAN fell by 14%, far exceeding the global average, which fell by 1%. This situation will certainly boost ASEAN internal and external confidence to restart activities and accelerate recovery.”

Indonesian, president, Joko Widodo

Furthermore, he said that now we have the opportunity to be able to carry out structural reforms for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the ASEAN region. Indonesia has created an omnibus law, revised the tax law and the job creation law to boost the investment climate to make this happen.

“The common vision, spirit, collaboration, and unity in action are the main keys to ASEAN Regional economic recovery.”

Said Jokowi

Therefore, Jokowi revealed three key things to revive the economy in ASEAN.

  • First, health care must come first. The short-term agenda that will be carried out is equal distribution and fulfillment of vaccine targets as much as 70% throughout the ASEAN region. Meanwhile, for the medium-term agenda, ASEAN will build a health crisis protocol so that it can be more resilient in dealing with future health crises.
  • Second, ASEAN economic recovery. also accelerated by reactivation of safe tourism travel because of the covid 19 situation getting under control. This is in line with the UNWTO statement which states that the level of restrictions in Southeast Asia is the highest in the world, reaching 82%. With this situation, restrictions can be reduced, mobility can be relaxed, while also ensuring that it is safe from the risk of a pandemic.

In his speech, Jokowi had three requests made. 

  1. The ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework intitation by Indonesia last year needs to be implemented immediately, 
  2. Recognition of vaccine certificates in the region including the interoperability of the vaccine system should be immediately approved. 
  3. Travel arrangements for individuals who have been vaccinated and are healthy or negative from covid must be established as a regional Vaccinated Travel Lane. 
  • Third, the adaptation of regional economic activities toward the digital economy must be accelerated in all countries. The digital economy has huge potentials in ASEAN because it is the region with the fastest internet growth in the world. So, digital technology could be the most effective solution. During the pandemic, the digital economy grew by 100 billion US dollars in 2020. 

Indonesia supports ASEAN to become a digitally connected community with charted digital Indonesia Roadmap for 2021-2024 as a strategic guide for the digital transformation journey. Indonesia’s digital economy value is also very promising, estimated to reach 124 billion US dollars in 2025. equivalent 40% of Southeast Asia’s digital economy total value. Currently, Indonesia has 2229 start-ups, the fifth largest in the world. Indonesia also one decacorn and six unicorns.

He said, that our steps together in handling health challenges, reactivation of safe travels, as well acceleration of a fair digital economy, will become our common gateway to recover and advance together.