Indonesia as ASEAN Chair in 2023: Prioritizing Economic Growth and Regional Stability

ASEAN countries

Indonesia, as the chair of ASEAN for the fourth time this year, is claiming its important role in promoting ASEAN as the epicenter of world growth. This comes as its economic resilience is being tested amidst global uncertainties, including inflation, supply chain disruption, geopolitical crises, and the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

The Head of Fiscal Policy Agency Febrio Kacaribu stated that “Indonesia believes that all of this reflects the resilience of ASEAN as a region in the midst of global uncertainty”.

According to the official website of Bank Indonesia, by taking on the role of ASEAN chair in 2023, Indonesia has chosen the theme ‘ASEAN Matters: Epicenter of Growth.’

The government and relevant authorities in Indonesia believe that it plays an important role not only for countries within the region but also for the world, acting as a central engine for regional peace and prosperity.

It is hoped that ASEAN will continue to grow above 4% this year and remain an attractive investment destination. Indonesia is determined to steer ASEAN towards 2045, ensuring that it remains adaptive, responsive, and competitive.

The term ‘Epicenter of Growth’ means that Indonesia aims to make ASEAN the center of economic growth for the region and the world. As the chair of it, Indonesia has a goal to strengthen economic recovery and make Southeast Asia a sustainable engine for global growth.

Bank Indonesia stated that “ASEAN’s economic growth has almost always been above the world average.”

Today, the first meeting of the ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (1st AFMGM) will take place at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC).

Timor-Leste has officially become a member of ASEAN and is scheduled to attend the AFMGM meeting in Bali. With the addition of Timor-Leste, the ASEAN member countries now number 11.

The 11 member countries are Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Timor-Leste.

The ratification of Timor-Leste’s membership will coincide with the High-Level Conference (KTT) in September 2023 in Labuan Bajo.

There are three priority agendas in financial roadmap, including local currency transactions (LCT) and cross-border payments, financial and health cooperation, and food security.

These three priority agendas, along with others, will be discussed in three main strategic clusters: recovery-building, digitalization, and sustainability.

The topics that will be discussed at the 1st AFMGM meeting today were previously discussed in the Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting (AFCDM), which took place yesterday on March 30th, 2023, in Bali.