President Jokowi Welcomes ASEAN Travel Corridor Agreement
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo welcomed the issuance of the ASEAN Declaration on an ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement (TCA) Framework at the 37th ASEAN Summit held virtually via video conference on Thursday (12/11).
For the record, the President previously proposed the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement at the 36th ASEAN Summit on 26 June 2020.
“I welcome the issuance of the ASEAN Declaration on an ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework. Therefore, the plan to implement the ASEAN TCA must be realized,” the President said at the 37th ASEAN Plenary Summit from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java province.
In a bid to speed up the realization of the TCA, President Jokowi urged the ASEAN Coordinating Council and the ASEAN Sectoral Bodies to work quickly and efficiently.
According to him, ASEAN needs to immediately realize the establishment of temporary fast lanes and health protocols on departure and arrival, use integrated digital platforms in the region, determine the port of entry, as well as apply strict health protocols.
“I hope the ASEAN TCA can begin in the first quarter of next year. This arrangement will raise optimism that our economic activities can gradually rebound by following strict health protocols. Our people cannot wait any longer. They want to see our region revive,” he said.
In addition, President Jokowi also raised another issue, namely the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which was successfully signed after being negotiated for approximately 8 years.
“We have to prove that this enormous economic integration will benefit our people,” he said.
Moreover, President Jokowi also pointed out the importance of ASEAN’s role in maintaining regional peace and stability, adding that in the midst of rivalry between the two great world powers, each of them wants to urge ASEAN to take sides.
In response to that, President Jokowi said that ASEAN must be solid, maintain balance, continue to reaffirm its focus on mutually beneficial cooperation, continue to reiterate to ASEAN partners to respect the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, and continue to emphasize the importance of respect against international law including the UNCLOS 1982.
“With solidity and a strong commitment to advancing inclusive cooperation, ASEAN will not be caught between these rivalry and ASEAN will be able to play a central role in developing regional cooperation. This is certainly not an easy thing. But I am confident that with solidity and strong commitment, we will be able to carry it out,” he said. (BPMI/UN)
Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas