Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Cooperation Must Strengthen ASEAN: President Jokowi
Date 28 April 2018
After nearly 25 years of cooperation, Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) has achieved a number of strategic goals, including 4.4 percent of economic growth in IMT-GT region in 2016 and an increase of total GDP per capita from US$11.508 in 2011 to US$14.557 in 2016.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo made the statement during the 11th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Meeting at Banyan Room, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.
The President added that the number of international airports in the IMT-GT region has increased from 9 airports in 1995 to 28 airports today. Nevertheless, the President reminded that there are still many tough challenges ahead. “The region and the world today are still shadowed by uncertainty due to competition among the big powers and the already existing trade war,” President Jokowi said.
Therefore, President Jokowi urged the founding members of ASEAN to make IMT-GT cooperation as building-block that gives real contribution to the strengthening of ASEAN. “We have to ensure that this cooperation can bring concrete and inclusive benefits for our peoples as well as for the people of ASEAN,” he said.
In the meantime, to achieve the goal and to promote inclusive growth in the IMT-GT region, President Jokowi proposed a number of steps to be taken, including infrastructure development, particularly Physical Connectivity Projects (PCP) to facilitate the flow of goods, services and passengers. In addition, a number of cooperation in various priority areas, the President added, should also be continuously improved, including agro-industry, tourism, and the development of digital economy.
On that occasion, President Jokowi also encouraged the improvement of skilled and competitive human resources through the Center for IMT-GT Sub regional Cooperation (CIMT). “As a joint secretariat, the CIMT should give more contribution to the cooperation among the countries and to the cooperation with international organizations,” President Jokowi concluded.
Also present during the meeting were Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko, and Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore I Gede Ngurah Swajaya. (BPMI/EN) (RI/EP/Naster)