Indonesian Minister Calls for ASEAN Countries to Collaborate, Strengthening Intra-ASEAN Trade

Indonesian Minister Calls for ASEAN Countries to Collaborate, Strengthening Intra-ASEAN Trade

TEMPO.CO, JakartaIndonesian Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan called for ASEAN countries to collaborate in formulating concrete solutions to strengthen intra-ASEAN trade at the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Council Meeting in Semarang, Central Java, on Saturday, August 19, 2023.

“This meeting is an important momentum to strengthen intra-ASEAN trade. I hope we can collaborate in prioritizing the spirit of togetherness and providing a clear direction and formulating real and concrete solutions,” he stated at the meeting.

The meeting is part of a series of the 55th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting and Related Meetings held on August 17-22 in Semarang.

Hasan noted that Indonesia, as chair of ASEAN in 2023, is expecting ASEAN countries to play an active role in encouraging various regional and global agendas.

ASEAN countries are also expected to develop a region that is adaptive, responsive, and highly competitive as the world’s center of growth.

“These efforts must be supported by our joint efforts to attain just, inclusive, and sustainable regional economic growth,” he remarked.

Saturday’s meeting, apart from being attended by delegates and trade ministers of ASEAN member countries, was also attended by Minister of Trade and Industry of Timor-Leste, Filipus Nino Pereira, as an observer.

Pereira stated that Timor-Leste had observed and recorded ASEAN’s commitment to address immediate challenges and give post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery initiatives.

Those efforts were made by ASEAN to encourage cooperation in the digital economy, circular economy, and green economy as well as strengthen food security and a resilient supply chain to anticipate the impact of crises.

The minister expressed Timor-Leste’s full commitment to ASEAN’s free trade agreement, principles, objectives, and guidelines as additional pillars of regional-based economic cooperation and integration to address ongoing challenges and those that will emerge.


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