Jakarta, 4 September 2023 – The digital economy in ASEAN is projected to increase to around US$330 billion in 2025, supported by the implementation of the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) in 2025 with Malaysia as ASEAN Chair.
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto made the statement on the sidelines of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2023, Jakarta (3 September) after conducting a bilateral meeting with Council Members from the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) Malaysia.
"The projection is made considering the ASEAN region has large natural energy resources that can drive global energy demand. That is a huge advantage for ASEAN. As part of sustainability, we must also encourage a carbon credit market in ASEAN. Then, our homework in the future is to develop the downstream industry as a key point in the global supply chain," said Airlangga.
Airlangga explained that the ASEAN region can potentially become an anchor for global economic stability because the region continues to show a promising growth trajectory.
Throughout 2023, Airlangga continued, ASEAN gross domestic product (GDP) growth will be at 4.6 percent, and in 2024, it is projected to reach 4.8 percent. GDP growth is expected to fully return to pre-pandemic levels this year with variations between countries.
On the other hand, regional inflation is expected to decline, but price pressures will vary between countries in 2023. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in manufacturing in ASEAN has doubled in the last decade, even surpassing China.
That's why, according to Airlangga, ASEAN also needs to make impactful strategic decisions. Strategic areas that were discussed at the previous ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting include how to encourage the growth of the ASEAN electric vehicle landscape.
"Indonesia is interested in the downstreaming of natural resources such as nickel and copper, as well as having battery production facilities for electric vehicles," said Airlangga.
Next is to strengthen regional trade and investment relations and encourage joint sustainable development actions by launching environmentally friendly energy projects such as solar power plants and connecting ASEAN through strategic instruments and the Regional QR payment system.
"In the future, Indonesian people traveling to Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and other ASEAN countries will be able to make payments using QR. In Indonesia QRIS has been widely used by many merchants. It is developed by Bank Indonesia and currently, its transaction value is increasing," added Airlangga.
Airlangga said that the main focus of ASEAN-BAC is to facilitate trade, facilitate investment, and attract FDI. In addition, it must also be able to encourage the implementation of key priorities to strengthen intra-ASEAN trade and investment.
Indonesia will simplify the customs process by creating an integrated digital system between related ministries/institutions or what is usually called e-government, added Airlangga.
During the meeting, the Malaysian delegation, led by the Deputy Chairman of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, accompanied by Council Member Lim Chern Yuan, Executive Director of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Jukhee Hong, and representatives from several large Malaysian companies.
Various matters were discussed at the meeting, including cross-border trade and payment systems and the development of electric vehicles (EVs). "We are very excited about ASEAN, about Indonesia. We have to praise the Indonesian government because it has opened our eyes that Indonesia is very progressive (from an economic perspective), also very open and transparent (from a government perspective)," said Tony.
The ASEAN-BAC meeting is part of the series of events in the 43rd ASEAN Summit held on 5-7 September 2023 at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), Indonesia.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo will open the 43rd ASEAN Summit while chairing 12 meetings. The series of meetings are the 43rd Summit in plenary and retreat format, the 26th ASEAN-China Summit, the 24th ASEAN-South Korea Summit, the 26th ASEAN-Japan Summit, and the 11th ASEAN-United States Summit.
Other meetings are the ASEAN-Canada Summit, the 26th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, the 20th ASEAN-India Summit, the 3rd ASEAN-Australia Summit, the 18th East Asia (EAS) Summit, and the 13th ASEAN-United Nations (UN) Summit.
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Get more information at http://asean2023.id, https://infopublik.id/kategori/asean-2023, and https://indonesia.go.id/kategori/ragam-asean-2023
Photo caption: Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto deliveres a speech during the third plenary at the 2023 ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Jakarta, Sunday (3 September 2023). Media Center ASEAN Summit 2023/Zabur Karuru/aww.