Indonesia has conveyed its hope for a stronger partnership between ASEAN and the United States for years to come, as the partnership can promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has said.
Speaking on behalf of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Retno expressed Indonesia’s hope for a strategic partnership to US National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien, who represented President Donald Trump at the ASEAN-US Summit held virtually on Saturday.
“Indonesia hopes for the US to remain an important and strategic partner in the region, including in the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. We expect the partnership to be a positive force to create peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” she said in a press conference held at the Bogor Palace, West Java.
During the virtual meeting, Retno said Indonesia emphasized the importance of maintaining the strong friendship and cooperation between ASEAN and the US.
“In the last four years, in the economic and development sectors, the US continues to be ASEAN’s second-largest trade and investment partner. The trading volume of the two parties increased by 39 percent from US$211.8 billion to $294.6 billion.”
She went on to say that US investment in the region had increased by 110 percent from $11.65 billion to $24.5 billion. In the energy sector, the US and ASEAN have made a long-term 2021-2025 partnership plan.
Meanwhile, in the digital economy sector, they have cooperated through capacity-building programs for 4,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
Moreover, Retno said, in the past 10 months, the partnership between ASEAN and the US in health care had also strengthened with the mutual fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.