President Jokowi Encourages Cooperation to Improve Health Security During ASEAN – ROK Summit
Date 12 November 2020
The close partnership between ASEAN and South Korea can contribute to efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and to recover the economy in the region, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said.
“At the end of last year, in Busan, I expressed optimism for the ASEAN-South Korea partnership. In the midst of this pandemic, I remain optimistic. I am optimistic that the ASEAN-South Korea strategic partnership can contribute to the fight against the pandemic and recover the economy in the region,” the President said virtually at the 21st ASEAN – Republic of Korea Summit, from the Bogor Presidential Palace, Thursday (12/11).
According to the President, this optimism must be realized in two ways, namely collaboration between ASEAN and South Korea in regional recovery and strengthening cooperation in terms of health security. Collaboration for regional economic recovery is vital to raise new hopes for the community and the business world which can later help leverage the regional economy.
“One of the efforts to raise new hopes for the community is through economic integration in the region, including the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) and the ASEAN-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). I appreciate South Korea’s commitment to regional economic integration and the signing of the RCEP this year,” President Jokowi said.
ASEAN and South Korea, the President stated, must strive to secure the global supply chain, including through expanding South Korean investment in Southeast Asia and strengthening ASEAN as Korea’s production base. Digital and technological transformation in MSMEs as well as strengthening creative economic cooperation, he added, can also encourage economic movement in the region.
In terms of strengthening cooperation in health security, the President said that economic recovery can only smoothly run with health insurance. In this pandemic, he said, health care and economic recovery must go hand in hand. In the short term, the partnership between ASEAN and South Korea must ensure the availability of medicines and vaccines for COVID-19.
In the long term, The President went on to say, the partnership between ASEAN and South Korea can be directed towards building health resilience mechanisms in the region, particularly health infrastructure at the national level, a strong health industry in the region, and a framework for regional health resilience including early warning systems and SOPs during a pandemic. “South Korea’s superiority in the health service digitization system can be one of the new areas for ASEAN-South Korea cooperation,” he added.
In addition, the President said that war against the pandemic and economic recovery can only be carried out if the region is in a peaceful and safe condition. For this reason, at the 10th anniversary of the ASEAN-South Korea strategic partnership, the President invited both parties to become the guardians of regional peace, security, and stability. (BPMI/UN)
Translated by: Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Reviewed by: Lulu Wuliarti