President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called on India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to wrap up negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), stated a press release issued on Friday by the President’s office.
The planned RCEP will represent 28.5 percent of global trade and 31.6 percent of gross world product (GWP).
Jokowi stressed that the partnership would increase prosperity and improve stability among ASEAN countries and India, as well as their people.
“Indonesia calls for intensive efforts to complete the RCEP negotiation in 2018,” the press statement quoted Jokowi as saying in his speech on the opening day of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, which runs from Jan. 25-Jan. 26 in New Delhi.
Jokowi praised the ongoing cooperation between India and the ASEAN members that had boosted growth in the Indo-Pacific.
Estimated economic growth in ASEAN was 5 percent and 7 percent in India, higher than the project global economic growth of 3.7 percent this year.
India and ASEAN, Jokowi said, could continue to expand their cooperation to exploit the great potential in the region, including its 2 billion population.
“From this population figure, 1.5 percent are of productive age,” the President said.
Jokowi said ASEAN was also ready to cooperate with India to expand and strengthen the supply chain in RCEP countries.
He also called on ASEAN and India to anticipate a variety of external problems, including pessimism over the weakening global economy and the increasing trend toward protectionism among several countries.