ASEAN Agrees to Enhance Partnership to Rebuild Post-Pandemic Economy
Date 27 Juni 2020
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto representing President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Friday (6/26) joined ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Meeting held within the framework of 36th ASEAN Summit through a teleconference.
The meeting aims to increase synergy between the Government and the private sector in formulating strategies to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to devise economic recovery plans.
“The meeting highlights digital economy which has now become an economic reality, so the use of e-commerce must always be encouraged to improve competitiveness,” the Minister said, adding that the operation of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) must be improved in a variety of conditions.
Airlangga also pointed out that the capability of human resources must also be maximized to face Industrial Revolution 4.0.
“Indonesia is currently exploring the development of an industry-oriented educational curriculum 4.0. Meanwhile, ASEAN has also sought to transform vocational education through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET),” he said.
Airlangga also unveiled policies in anticipation of economic turmoil, namely digital economic cooperation, human resources development, and the completion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations.
“Indonesia and other ASEAN member countries are committed to completing RCEP negotiations to boost economic integration in the region. Inputs from business people, as demonstrated by the ASEAN-BAC, are urgently needed to increase the use of RCEP for the regional economy,” he said.
The Coordinating Minister also expressed hope that plans to establish the ASEAN High Level Special Commission (AHLSC) on COVID-19 Response and Economic Recovery by ASEAN-BAC can serve as recommendations for the Governments of ASEAN member countries in an effort to restore health, social sectors and to rebuild the economy.
The ASEAN-BAC meeting also proposes several recommendations, such as cooperation in increasing the capacity of affordable and reliable mass testing, and the reopening of the economy.
In the meantime, President Jokowi in his remarks during the opening of the 36th ASEAN Summit conveyed several important matters, namely the need for a comprehensive study to build ASEAN resilience in the areas of food security, energy, and health post-pandemic; the efforts to speed up ASEAN economic recovery through increased connectivity, special travel arrangements, and RCEP signatories; the strengthening of regional cooperation by promoting the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific; and the call to work more efficiently and effectively.
The 36th Summit adopted two documents, namely (1) ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN: Rising Above Challenges and Sustaining Growth and (2) ASEAN Declaration on Human Resources Development for the Changing World of Work. (Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs PR/EN)
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas