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ASEAN's 43rd Summit: Pioneering Digital Transformation and Sustainability

Tuesday (5/9) marked the formal opening of the summit. The ASEAN maintains the "ASEAN Matters Epicentrum of Growth" theme in its 43rd year. It will work in concert with its ten members and discussion partners to enhance the regional financial system. Before the event's peak took place, the ASEAN members carried out the 23rd ASEAN Economic Community Council Meeting in Jakarta, Sunday (3/9). The economic pillar comprises the recovery and rebuilding, digital economy, and sustainability strategic trusts. ASEAN has proposed sixteen top-priority economic deliverables that are anticipated to be completed this year in an effort to strengthen such trusts. Eleven of the sixteen priorities have been successfully completed, and the committees are actively working to complete the other five, including the creation of an environment for electric vehicles and digital economic framework agreements. The Indonesian government is keen to establish additional charging stations and alliances with various nations to create a more sustainable ASEAN in order to provide the best possible environment for electric automobiles. On the other hand, the Digital Economic Agreement Framework (DEFA) is thought to have the potential to usher in a new era for a more cohesive regional digital economy. This agreement is projected to enhance investment, foster innovation, increase productivity, create employment, and strengthen the micro, small, and medium-sized business sectors.

This year, the meeting produced several critical points regarding ASEAN and partner nations, including the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP). In line with this ASEAN year's theme, Epicentrum of Growth, AOIP is looking to make ASEAN a center of economic activity in the Indo-Pacific, focusing on three major issues, namely green infrastructure and resilient supply chains, digital transformation and creative economy, and sustainable and innovative financing. To help ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, Japan committed funding of 100 million USD with the Implementation of Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). Australia also committed 95.4 million USD to support ASEAN initiatives tackling the three major issues and improving relations with ASEAN countries. In addition, the leaders agreed to officially form the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (ASEAN - Japan Comprehensive Strategic Partnership) as stated in the Joint Statement. This joint statement was adopted at the ASEAN-Japan Summit this time by recording three documents, first, the Progress Report of the Revised Implementation Plan of the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. Moreover, it contains progress in implementing the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. Other than that, the 43rd ASEAN summit also emphasizes protecting the peace and stability in the region, specifically in the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea, to improve the prosperity and environment of the people in the area. Second, the Future Design and Action Plan of an Innovative and Sustainable ASEAN-Japan Economic Partnership. Then, the ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-Creation Vision.

Prior to the 43rd ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) initiated the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit 2023 (ABIS) to discuss important issues in the region. The summit highlighted themes such as digital transformation, sustainable development, health security, food security, and trade and investment facilitation. As the world order continues to change rapidly amid increasing geopolitical tensions, the concept of ASEAN Centrality gains even more momentum and relevance, especially because of its deep innovation. One of the innovations is the Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre (DISC), born by the collaboration between ASEAN-BAC and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), with the mission to foster a more sustainable economy in the region. DISC project prioritizes digital trade, data governance, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The two-day ABIS event highlighted key themes of the ASEAN Summit, such as digital transformation, sustainable development, health resilience, and food security, as well as trade and investment facilitation. While the first day of ABIS centered on the need for policy actions to stimulate business and investment in the region, the second day spotlighted the government’s efforts to support private-sector solutions for the most pressing problems. Overall, ASEAN seeks to stimulate business, regional investment, and collaborating government and private sector to look to the future.


CNBC Indonesia

CNN Indonesia

Kemenkeu RI

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