JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – ASEAN economic ministers are committed to strengthen the regional supply chain, maintain the flow of goods and services, and improve the digital trade sector so that markets are kept open for trade and investment amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The commitment was made during the 52nd ASEAN Economic Minister’s Meeting (AEM) held virtually on August 25.
“Indonesia supports the bloc’s joint efforts in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in the economic pillar through the strengthening of supply chains and the use of digital technology in the trade sector,” said Indonesia’s Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto in a statement on August 28.
Agus said during the meeting, the ministers exchanged views on global and regional developments, including the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said that the ministers have also completed the ASEAN Digital Integration Index — a tool to measure the readiness for digital economic integration among the member states.
The meeting, he added, saw the completion of the terms of reference for the establishment of an ASEAN Network of Innovation Centers, which will connect the innovation centers and foster the growth of the start-ups ecosystem in the regional bloc.
Indonesia’s total trade in goods with ASEAN in 2019 stood at $55.72 billion, down 1.22 percent from the previous year.
Meanwhile, exports of goods to ASEAN in 2019 reached $41.79 billion, or up 6.42 percent from the previous year. Imports from ASEAN in 2019 was recorded at $13.93 billion, or down 3.87 percent from the previous year.
Indonesia’s top exports to ASEAN included coal (11.2 percent), palm oil (8.5 percent), petroleum gas (5.5 percent), crude oil (2.8 percent), and rubber (2.2 percent).
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