Indonesia to enhance role in ASEAN for national economic interests: FM

12:16, February 10, 2010      

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Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the country should enhance its role in ASEAN for national economic benefits ahead of its chairmanship of the group in 2013, the Jakarta Post reported on Wednesday.

"Our role in and contribution to ASEAN should not only be maintained but enhanced for the economic interest of Indonesia. We have to ensure that Indonesians can reap the benefits of ASEAN to increase their welfare," said Marty in his closing speech at a week-long meeting of ambassadors on Tuesday.

Marty said Jakarta has to translate political closeness with friendly partners into economic cooperation that would benefit people on both sides.

"The global financial crisis teaches us a valuable lesson of not depending only on traditional markets," he said.

He also said that the country should also secure its political interests in the East Asia and Pacific region through the new regional architecture initiatives floated by Japan and Australia.

The ambassadors' meeting gathered around 200 Indonesian diplomats from 119 embassies and consulate-generals around the world.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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