World Bank, IMF Laud ASEAN’s Economic Resillience amid Global Economic Slowdown
President of the World Bank Ajay Banga and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva Tuesday (09/05) praised the economic resilience of ASEAN amid the global economic slowdown due to COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts.
“The Plenary Session [of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta] began with briefings by the President of the World Bank and the Managing Director of the IMF. From IMF’s point of view, the global economy is currently slowing down due to the pandemic and conflicts, with growth at only 3 percent—it is the lowest figure in a decade compared to pre-pandemic era. However, ASEAN’s growth remains high, with a projection of 4.9 percent,” Minister fo Foreign Affairs Retno LP Marsudi said in her statement.
For the record, previously during a meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at Merdeka Palace (09/04), Managing Director of the IMF said that ASEAN represents a bright spot amid the uncertain global situation. According to her, ASEAN also contributes 10 percent to global economic growth.
“ASEAN can be an example of global cooperation. Some of the suggestions made including investments in health, education, digital infrastructure sectors,” Retno added.
The Minister went on to say that President of the World Bank presented global economic outlook and mentioned climate change challenges. The World Bank also encouraged ASEAN to strengthen investment in sectors including structural reforms, human resources, sustainable economies, and digitalization.
In addition, during the Plenary Session, ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn told that the High-Level Task Force has formulated the ASEAN Community Vision 2045, while underscoring that the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) has been accessioned in several countries.
“As of today, there are 54 countries that have accessioned the TAC,” Retno added.
Furthermore, the ASEAN Secretary-General underscored that there is an increase of 14.9 percent or USD3.9 trillion in ASEAN’s trade growth, the foreign direct investment (FDI) reached USD222 billion, and the intra-ASEAN trade continues to grow.
“It proves that ASEAN has enormous economic potentials. Intra-ASEAN trade increased by 22.3 percent, showing that ASEAN’s internal trade relations are becoming more solid. The implementation of the RCEP is expected to further boost ASEAN’s growth,” Retno remarked. (BPMI of Presidential Secretariat/UN) (AP/MUR)