Indonesia urges us to strengthen economic cooperation with ASEAN

Singapore (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged the United States of America to strengthen its economic cooperation with the ASEAN member countries based on a win-win solution instead of a zero sum game.

"The ASEAN-US cooperation is not a zero sum game. Instead, it is a win-win game," Jokowi told the ASEAN leaders and US Vice President Mike Pence at the sixth ASEAN-US Summit taking place on the sidelines of the 33rd ASEAN Summit here on Thursday.

The values of ASEAN and US economic cooperation have gone beyond the calculations of trade surplus and deficit, he stated, adding that the services and commodities that the US has exported to the ASEAN member countries have increased around 81 percent over the past decade.

As a result of the US-ASEAN trading activities, the US is able to create more than 550 thousand jobs, and at least 3 thousand US companies have been operating in the member countries of this regional grouping, Jokowi remarked.

"Instead, the value of investments of the ASEAN member states in the United States of America, which was recorded at US$2.3 billion in 2004, had increased to $26 billion in 2015. It means that the value has increased around 1 thousand percent," he explained.

The ASEAN economy is also predicted to grow around five percent per year making its economic growth the world`s fourth biggest in 2050. Both ASEAN and the US could not get rid of the economic cooperation because it had brought them prosperity, he elaborated.

Jokowi also called on the ASEAN member states to strengthen the economic cooperation among themselves.

In other part of his speech, he also touched on the importance of a two-state solution as the only peaceful way to ensure an independent Palestine.

"To achieve just and permanent peace, the only way is to ensure that peace is created based on the two-state solution," Jokowi noted.

The two-state solution will end the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts, which will help create peace and stability in the Middle East and the entire world, he remarked, adding that the Palestinian issues were crucial for Indonesia`s diplomacy.

Hence, Jokowi urged all parties to pay further attention to a collective endeavor to resolve Palestinian-Israeli issues through the two-state solution, as it was believed to be able to bring lasting peace and justice to the region.

 

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