Jakarta (voinews): Deputy Minister of Trade Jerry Sambuaga expressed optimism that Indonesia's ASEAN chairmanship in 2023 would usher in progress and drive economic growth of the countries in Southeast Asia in a better direction.
"Indonesia is the most populous country in the ASEAN. Of course, in terms of size and the economy, Indonesia plays a significant role. Indonesia is also the largest democracy in ASEAN. These aspects are Indonesia's assets in leading the ASEAN and increasing the economic growth of ASEAN countries in a better direction," he stated in Magelang, Central Java, on Wednesday.
According to Sambuaga, Indonesia should be prompt in capitalizing on positive opportunities for its exports amid its chairmanship in the ASEAN in 2023. Moreover, in the last five years, Indonesia's trade balance surplus with the ASEAN has continued to increase.
"In 2018, a trade balance surplus was recorded at 3.92 billion US dollars. The surplus is getting bigger to reach 20.42 billion US dollars in 2022,” he stated.
Moreover, the ASEAN has become an active global trader, with a value reaching US$3.4 trillion in 2021, or 7.5 percent of the world's global trade. This value has increased significantly since 2010, with a value of US$2 trillion.
Despite being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ASEAN economy has demonstrated the ability to recover well and is projected to achieve a 11 percent year-on-year growth.
The Ministry of Trade noted that Indonesia's non-oil and gas trade balance with the ASEAN during the 2018-2022 period experienced a surplus and continued to increase. In 2018, the trade balance surplus was recorded at US$3.92 billion and reached US$20.42 billion in 2022.
Meanwhile, in January 2023, Indonesia's trade balance with the ASEAN still registered a surplus of US$1.42 billion. Of the nine other ASEAN member countries, Indonesia only experienced a trade balance deficit of US$398.8 million with Thailand and US$10.8 million with Laos. (Antaranews)