ASEANAustralia Partnership is Mutually Beneficial: President Jokowi
ASEAN-Australia Partnership should serve as an example of a mutually beneficial economic cooperation and a partnership that adds values to the world, according to President Joko Jokowi Widodo.
The President made the statement in his remarks at the Plenary Session of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit at the International Convention Center, Sydney, Sunday (18/3).
The tendency of economic protectionism and even trade war initiated by some countries is one of the things highlighted by the President.
On the occasion, the President also noted that trade is not a zero-sum game and should not be seen from a win-lose perspective. In addition, ASEAN-Australia economic cooperation also has strategic values, President Jokowi said.
“ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement has 93.5 percent trade liberalization rate on average,” the President said, adding that ASEAN-Australia partnership should also be the locomotive of an open and fair trade system in the region and should be implemented in the wider area.
“Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) will be a real test of our commitment to mutually beneficial multilateral trading system in the region. Therefore, we must strengthen our commitment to finalize the RCEP negotiation in 2018,” the President said.
“Of course, in any negotiation we dont always get everything we want. This is the real meaning of cooperation, a win-win solution and not a zero-sum one, President Jokowi added.
President Jokowi further said that the RCEP can be the world’s largest free trade agreement and RCEP itself represents almost half of the world’s population – 31.6 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 28.5 percent of world trade – and will be the antithesis of global protectionist movement.
“In the future, ASEAN-Australia should always be the pioneer of a free and fair trade system for the prosperity of the people in the region,” the President concluded.
Also present during the event were Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, Minister of State Secretariat Pratikno, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita and Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong. (BPMI/EN) (RI/EP/NASTER)