ASEAN’s opportunity to become epicentrum of sustainable economic growth: Op-Ed

WVR - In recent years, despite many financial shocks experienced by other regions in the world, the economies of members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have remained relatively stable and recorded growth.
ASEAN’s opportunity to become epicenter of sustainable economic growth: Op-Ed
On the morning of September 5, 2023, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Heads of delegations from ASEAN countries attended the Opening Ceremony and Plenary Session of the ASEAN-43 Summit. (Photo: WVR/Anh Son)

GDP growth

In the context of geopolitical and global economic crises and post-COVID-19 pandemic difficulties, stagnation and negative growth by various econonies, according to statistics as of November 20, some ASEAN countries still record positive signs of economic growth, gradually recovering from month to month, quarter to quater.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country's economy recovered strongly in the third quarter of 2023 with gross domestic product (GDP) increasing by 5.9% over the same period last year.

Previously, Statistics of Indonesia showed that Indonesia's GDP in the third quarter of 2023 increased by 4.94%.

Meanwhile, Malaysia recorded faster growth than expected in the third quarter of 2023 with GDP increasing by 3.3% over the same period last year, higher than 2.9% in the second quarter of this year.

According to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) of Thailand, the country's GDP in the third quarter of 2023 increased by 1.5% compared to the same period in 2022.

In Singapore, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said that thanks to tourism and manufacturing activities growing again compared to the second quarter of 2023, the country's economy in the third quarter of 2023 recorded higher than estimated. Specifically, GDP in the third quarter of 2023 increased by 0.7% over the same period last year, an improvement compared to the growth rate of 0.5% in the second quarter of 2023.

And in Vietnam, according to the General Statistics Office, GDP in the third quarter of 2023 increased by 5.33% over the same period last year, although only higher than the growth rate of the same period in 2020 and 2021 in the period 2011-2023, but has recorded a positive trend, the next quarter is higher than the previous quarter (first quarter increased by 3.28%, second quarter increased by 4.05%, third quarter increased by 5.33%).

Connection is key

According to official statistics, the ASEAN economy has achieved positive results over the past decade with an average growth rate of 4-5%. In 2022, growth in this region reached 5.7% and is forecast to continue to achieve positive outcomes this year. ASEAN is currently the 5th largest economy, the 4th largest exporter and the region attracting the second largest foreign investment in the world.

On November 8, speaking at the 14th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium with the theme "Promoting connectivity towards turning ASEAN into a growth center" in Indonesia, Chairman of the ASEAN and East Asia Economic Research Institute ( ERIA) Tetsuya Watanabe said that ASEAN connectivity has proven to be the foundation for the Association's post-COVID-19 recovery strategy, with policy coordination, resource gathering and partnership formation to enhance regional resilience. According to him, connectivity is the key to inclusive economic development in ASEAN.

In a recent article, Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Denny Abdi emphasized: "Indonesia and Vietnam, as the countries with the first and third largest populations in ASEAN, have made significant progress in working together in many fields to solve common challenges and open up new opportunities."

According to Ambassador Denny Abdi, despite many challenges, last year, the ASEAN economy recorded GDP growth higher than the global average. In the coming years, the role of Indonesia and Vietnam in the regional and global economy will become increasingly greater. The two countries are developing rapidly and will play a larger role both regionally and globally.

The efforts of Indonesia and Vietnam also made impact to other ASEAN member countries, which are expected to grow rapidly together in the next few decades. This is a breath of fresh air for the rest of the world looking for opportunities to boost economic growth.

ASEAN’s opportunity to become epicenter of sustainable economic growth: Op-Ed
President Joko Widodo (left) hands over the gravel symbolizing the Chairmanship of ASEAN 2024 to the Prime Minister of Laos Sonexay Siphandone after the closing speech of the 43rd ASEAN Summit 2023 in Jakarta, September 7, 2023. (Photo:

Ambassador Denny Abdi said that through this remarkable growth, Indonesia, Vietnam and other ASEAN member countries can forecast their economic growth to promote regional and global economic growth. This is also the vision of Indonesia's 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship with a theme looking towards ASEAN as an Epicentrum of Growth.

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economic Community Satvinder Singh said that ASEAN needs to continue building capacity and strengthening the regional foundation to maximize the benefits of connecting ASEAN and the Economic Community. ASEAN. Currently, ASEAN countries are also committed to building the ASEAN Connectivity Agenda after 2025 as part of the post-2025 ASEAN Community.

Building a peaceful, stable, and cooperative ASEAN is both a responsibility and effort in itself and a foundation to put the people at the center and be the driving force for a prosperous and sustainable ASEAN. Those are also the messages delivered at the 43rd ASEAN Summit and related Summits in Indonesia, last September. At the conclusion of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, Indonesian President Joko Widodo emphasized that the 43rd ASEAN Summit served as momentum to further strengthen the Indo-Pacific region as a theater of peace and inclusiveness: "That is the key foundation that will deliver ASEAN to a better future for the people and for the world". According to the President, it is the essence of what Indonesia's Chairmanship has built, making ASEAN the Epicentrum of Growth. This goal is confirmed by the ASEAN Leaders' Declaration on ASEAN as an Epicentrum of Growth..

By strengthening cooperation with external partners as well as other countries in the Association, ASEAN can strengthen its own resilience, while contributing to regional and global economic recovery. ASEAN is having the opportunity to become the epicentrum of sustainable economic growth.

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