ASEAN's Role in International Cooperation

Kominfo 20 September 2023
ASEAN's Role in International Cooperation

In his closing remarks at the 43rd ASEAN 2023 Summit, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said that ASEAN plays a vital role in maintaining and supporting global stability. In the future, regional stability will serve as an important foundation to realize ASEAN as the center of global economic progress. 

It is important to note that ASEAN comprises 11 member countries with different economic levels. It starts from developed countries such as Singapore and Brunei Darussalam and emerging markets consisting of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. On the other hand, developing countries with relatively low income levels include Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Timor Leste.

As they have different economic levels, cooperation with partners is a way to accelerate economic progress. In the future, therefore, it will be more than just a matter of maintaining economic stability. Instead, it will be about promoting global economic growth.

ASEAN Economic Continues to Grow

ASEAN plays a critical role in international cooperation. The significant contribution of the regional economy to the global economy, which has reached USD 1.73 trillion (2021), is evidence of this. This contribution comes from the value of intra-ASEAN export trade, which has controlled about 20% of the value of global trade. 

According to a report from the "ASEAN Statistical Yearbook 2022", the value of trade within the ASEAN region itself was the largest among trading partners with other regions in 2019-2021. The average value of intra-ASEAN trade per year reached US$638 billion, or about 21% of the total trade between regions worldwide.

According to the "ASEAN Statistical Yearbook 2022" report, trade value within the ASEAN region is the largest among trading partners with other regions in 2019-2021. The average value of intra-ASEAN trade per year reaches USD 638 billion, or about 21% of the world's total intra-regional trade.

ASEAN's role in the global economy can also be seen in the amount of incoming investment. According to, ASEAN countries received a total of USD 174 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2021. This is a 42% increase over the previous year and is evidence of the ASEAN region's strong resilience despite the pandemic's impact.

Moreover, ASEAN's trade surplus reached around USD 85 billion in 2021. Some countries contributing to generating a trade surplus for the ASEAN economy include the USA, EU, India, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

The total value of achievement per year proves that ASEAN plays a vital role in maintaining global peace and stability. ASEAN has strong economic relations with Western countries, China and Russia. 

It is not surprising that the ASEAN region will become the epicenter of the global economy, following the theme of Indonesia's Chairmanship of ASEAN 2023, namely the Epicentrum of Growth.

Photo: Shutterstock/BUTENKOV ALEKSEI

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