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ASEAN considers an Indo-Pacific push focused on the economy

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Wednesday that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), led this year by Indonesia, plans to push for economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

According to Daniel Espiritu, assistant secretary for ASEAN affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs, the group sees itself as responding to the Indo-Pacific policies of powerful nations like the United States, Japan, Australia, India, and South Korea.

The superpowers and their allies’ Indo-Pacific strategy, he said in a briefing, “is security-centered,” which is something you’ll notice.

Without claiming to be a replacement for the Indo-Pacific concept as a security concept, ASEAN would like to suggest an alternative version, another component of Indo-Pacific engagement that is more focused on economic cooperation. It’s a different approach to handling it,” he continued.

Connectivity, economic and maritime cooperation, as well as achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, are all included in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

By promoting the execution of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 and other free trade agreements, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, ASEAN seeks to further economic integration, assure financial stability and resilience, and promote trade and investment (RCEP).

In order to enable their participation in regional and global value chains, it also strives to strengthen the private sector, including micro, small, and medium-sized businesses.

Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam are all members of ASEAN.

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