President Joko Widodo continues to promote the concept of Indo-Pacific to ASEAN member countries and Australia. During his visit to Australia attending ASEAN-Australia Summit 2018 on 15-18 March 2018, President Joko Widodo did not forget to disclose the concept of Indo Pacific. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi explained in Sydney, Australia on Sunday (18/3/2018) that the purpose of the concept, which is the President focuses on strengthening cooperation in the Indian Ocean, is based on strong cooperation in the Asia Pacific region.
What and how exactly is the Indo-Pacific Concept?
The concept of Indo Pacific has become a major issue since President Joko Widodo visited India early in 2018. In the ASEAN-India Summit in Rasthrapati Bhawan, India, last January, President Joko Widodo revealed the concept of the Indo-Pacific region. It is through a mechanism led by ASEAN and through ASEAN-India partnership. President Joko Widodo believes that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region can be achieved. He further said that the Indo-Pacific concept can naturally be developed based on the ASEAN Cooperation and Cooperation Treaty where all the important countries in the region have become related stakeholders to the agreement.
When called by US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson on January 15, 2018, Minister Retno Marsudi expressed the same thing. Similarly, when US Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis visited Indonesia shortly thereafter, Minister Retno again pointed out the idea of the Indonesian government to explore more intense international relations in the Indian Ocean, which so far has not been fully regulated.
Indonesia expects the Indo-Pacific region will become one of the main sources of economic growth, trade and industry center of the world. The concept of the Indo-Pacific region was also raised in the annual press speech of Minister Retno Marsudi at the Foreign Ministry Building in Jakarta in early January.
Indonesia is in consultation with ASEAN. Even soon, it will be hosting "one and the half-track diplomacy" which discusses about the Indo Pacific.
The main point of the Indo-Pacific concept that Indonesia has offered is the concept that promotes dialogue and cooperation, instead of competing against one another in which ultimately, the competition will bring about disadvantage for all parties. This concept is jointly shared and no country feels left behind or abandoned by Indonesia.