JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) Commemorative Summit on Wednesday, Dec. 14 in Brussels, Belgium.
Leaders from nine of the 10 ASEAN member states and 27 EU nations joined the meeting on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations.
In his remarks at the summit, President Jokowi stressed that the partnership between ASEAN and the EU countries must be based on equality, and there should be no coercion.
As the current ASEAN chair, Jokowi was one of the six leaders who spoke during the meeting.
“If we want to build a better partnership, that partnership must be based on equality and without coercion,” said Jokowi via the Presidential Secretariat’s YouTube channel.
“There can no longer be parties who always dictate and perceive that their standard is better than others,” he said.
For decades, the President added, ASEAN has become an economic powerhouse. Going forward, Southeast Asia will remain a center of growth.
“Thus, the partnership with ASEAN will certainly be profitable,” Jokowi said.
Based on a survey from the EU-ASEAN Business Council in September, some 63 percent of the respondents view ASEAN as the region with the best economic opportunities.
“Meanwhile, 69 percent of the respondents expect the ASEAN market to become more important in terms of global revenue in the next two years. And some 97 percent of respondents expressed hope that negotiation of the ASEAN-EU free trade agreement (FTA) will be accelerated.”