Indonesia Initiates Indo-Pacific Cooperation to Maintain Economic Stability
Indonesian Vice Presidnet Jusuf Kalla.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderstories) – In the midst of various global economic uncertainties, Indonesian government sees the importance of the Indonesia-Pacific region partnership that is home to 3/5 of the world’ population with almost US$52 trillion in GDP. The program is expect to maintain stability and inclusive cooperation is crucial for economic growth and prosperity in the region.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said Indonesian government was ready to realize synergies that are expected to be the seeds of concrete cooperation in interactions between countries in the Indo-Pacific region. The fields which are the main dimensions of cooperation include cooperation in the fields of maritime, infrastructure, and sustainable development to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Conducive regional architecture is very important, to accommodate the growth of mutual trust and encourage the spirit of cooperation for the common good,” he said at a meeting of the High Level Dialogue on Indo-Pacific Cooperation in Jakarta On Wednesday (03/20).

Kalla stressed that the concept of Indo-Pacific cooperation promoted by Indonesia is a synergy based on inclusiveness, openness, concrete cooperation, and respect for international law, with ASEAN’ centrality as one of the main nodes of development and cooperation in the region.

“Because the sea is a source of prosperity. Because the sea unites us,” he stressed.

Some concrete cooperation that can be carried out include the establishment of new economic growth centers, cooperation in piracy prevention, and handling marine waste and mitigating natural disasters.

On the same time, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said the government had made a breakthrough effort through a “ball picking approach”, to initiate meetings between members of the East Asia Summit, themed Indo-Pacific in the first quarter of March 2019.

She also said that Indo-Pacific cooperation that is inclusive and transparent is very much in line with Indonesia’s vision as a world maritime axis.

“Indonesia’s initiative to mobilize dialogue on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region actually departs from the view of Indonesia which sees Southeast Asia as a zone of peace, freedom and neutrality,” said Marsudi.

According to her, this wealth is the basic capital in maintaining the stability of the region amid the geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics in the Indian Ocean and Pacific region. Indonesia’ role in realizing this is an embodiment of the vision of the 2019 World Maritime Axis.

This plan of cooperation will be followed up concretely by the Japanese delegation which will be present to Indonesia this week to discuss the draft Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of employment.

“This forum is the first forum for all 18 countries to discuss Indo-Pacific concepts. But all countries present also said that this forum is very useful in finding common ground for the Indo-Pacific which is peaceful, safe and prosperous for the people,” she stated.

Marsudi emphasized that Indonesia does not want the Indo-Pacific region to become a big theater, a new cold war, the argument of United States political and economic competition with China. The US along with the Quad (Australia, Japan, India) ranks slowly reduced the quality of ASEAN’s role by raising new actors, India, to confront China.

“And we do not want this area to be the arena of Graham Allison’s Thucydides Trap competition, which at the end of our life is a satellite that has to choose who is entrenched. Indonesia is the backbone of non-aligned forces,” she firmed.

Furthermore, she said, Indonesia’s big concept in the Indo-Pacific is the centrality of ASEAN. Laying down the central role of ASEAN as a leader and dealer managing regional stability maps as well as initiating the expansion and deepening of cooperation across maritime cooperation projects, maritime infrastructure, energy, technology transfer, logistics development, and so on.

“The mechanism of expansion and deepening of triangle cooperation, for example, from IORA, APEC, and ASEAN in fact if it can run well and complement each other is certainly very meaningful. The Indo-Pacific is a cross-growth region with orbit and its satellites are increasingly reaching out to the rest of the world, spreading prosperity,” she concluded.

Written by Daniel Deha, Email: daniel@theinsiderstories.com