JAKARTA - Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are working hand in hand in improving the economy in the subregion as well as supporting the growth and development of the ASEAN region. The three countries delivered a joint statement containing their determination and efforts to deal with world geopolitical dynamics and jointly revive social and economic development in the subregion.

The joint statement was the result of the 8th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Ministerial Meeting which took place on September 15-16 in Phuket, Thailand. In the meeting chaired by the Minister of Finance of Thailand Arkhom Termpitayapaisith, the delegations from the three countries agreed to submit a joint statement and take strategic steps for the sustainability of cooperation in the IMT-GT subregion.

One of the points in the statement is that all countries support the IMT-GT 2022-2026 Implementation Blueprint (IB) as a guideline for subregional cooperation in the next five years. To that end, the meeting encouraged IMT-GT stakeholders to implement a strategic framework of all focus areas, namely a corridor-centered approach to regional integration, private sector-driven growth, highly responsive institutional arrangements, inclusive growth, and adopting economies. green, blue, and circular. "IB IMT-GT 2022-2026 is a compass to achieve Vision 2036 of this subregion," said Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita in Jakarta, Sunday (18/9).

Regarding the tourism sector, IMT-GT calls for the joint efforts of stakeholders to continue to revive social and economic development in this subregion. The reason is that foreign tourist arrivals in the subregion fell drastically to 0.5 million people in 2021, which is a record low in the tourism sector. Therefore, the Tourism Working Group is also encouraged to optimize tourism recovery efforts by carrying out projects that have a large impact while still paying attention to health and safety protocols.

On the occasion, the three countries also realized cooperation in the fields of trade and investment through the signing of the IMT-GT Rubber Cities Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Rubber Industry Cooperation. “This initiative will have an impact in strengthening and advancing the rubber industry in the subregion. Furthermore, the potential for cooperation between Special Economic Zones (SEZs) located in the IMT-GT region needs to be optimized to improve the subregional economy and attract more investment," said the Minister of Industry. (LM)