The 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related summits kicked off on Tuesday (Sept. 5), with the focus on establishing the region as an epicenter of economic growth.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo officially opened the ASEAN Summit with the performance of the ASEAN anthem, ‘The ASEAN Way’.
The ASEAN anthem titled “The ASEAN Way” was sung by the Gita Bumi Voices vocal group with music from the Puwacaraka Orchestra. The performance was followed by orchestral music performances and dances carrying the theme ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.
The song was composed by Payom Valaiphatchra and arranged by Kittikhun Sodpraset. It was selected from the 99 songs submitted by ASEAN member states consisting of 13 juries made up of 13 musicians and composers appointed directly by the ASEAN Secretariat General.
‘The ASEAN Way’ was officially chosen in 2008 as the ASEAN anthem, and was first sung at an official event in the hall of the ASEAN Secretariat building in Jakarta on 15 December 2008.
The best musicians from 10 ASEAN member countries joined in the selection, with a total of 99 songs listed in the ASEAN Anthem Copyright Work selection. The juries then curated all the songs listed to select the ten best songs.
Listen the the ASEAN anthem, here.
Economy at ASEAN
In the past decade, ASEAN’s average annual economic growth reached 3.98 percent, above the global growth of 2.6 percent, according to ASEAN data.
During the next three days, leaders of ASEAN member states are expected to discuss issues that would chart the future of ASEAN as a community and an institution.
This includes steps to speed up the decision-making in crises and emergencies, as well as steps to bolster ASEAN’s capacity to respond to emerging challenges in the region.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, whose country is holding the rotating ASEAN chair this year, urged ASEAN to stay united and not be a proxy to any power.
Culture at ASEAN Summit
The ASEAN Summit gives Jakarta the opportunity to promote itself to international participants, through the promotion of Betawi culture, with its nearly 11 million indigenous people.
The Betawi tribe has inhabited Jakarta since the fifth century AD, as written by archaeologist Uka Tjandarasasmita in the book Greater Jakarta and Surroundings from Prehistoric Times to the Pajajaran Kingdom.
Jakarta’s strategic location along the coast of the Java Sea and its division by major rivers such as the Ciliwung made it a hub for trade and services.
Traders from various nations, such as Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch, entered Batavia, the old name for Jakarta. They settled and contributed to the enrichment of Betawi culture through acculturation, including intermarriage with Betawi locals.
One of these are the still-popular Betawi crafts and textiles, such as the kebaya encim and baju sadariah, which are heavily influenced by Chinese culture. The kebaya encim is also known as kebaya kerancang because it features perforated embroidery along the edges. In Sanskrit, kerancang means holes or perforations.
Mrs. Iriana Joko Widodo’s garment, worn while accompanying President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in welcoming the arrival of heads of state and government, is an example of kebaya encim.
Dance at ASEAN Summit
Heads of state were welcomed with traditional Betawi dance called Ngarojeng.
The accompaniment of traditional Betawi music, gambang kromong, with the sounds of tehyan and kongahyan, combined with the beats of drums, gongs, gambang, kromong, kecrek, and the melodious notes of a flute, created a harmonious and joyful atmosphere.
ASEAN+ Youth Summit
The ASEAN+ Youth Summit (Sept. 5-8) is expected to see 2,000 youth attendees from 20 over ASEAN and ASEAN+ countries. Discussion topics include digital literacy and inclusion, food security, green economy, future of education & work, and health.
In the last session, the ASEAN Prize 2022 was awarded to Haji Muhammad Iqbal Fakhiri bin Haji Damit in the Youth Advocate and Community Leader category, and the ASEAN Prize 2023 was presented to Nguyen Thi Thuyet Minh in the Advocate of Women Socio-Economic Empowerment category.
The Prizes were awarded symbolically by President Jokowi in the presence of ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn.
ASEAN & Jakarta
Furthermore, there was a soft launching of the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Transboundary of Haze Pollution Control.
Indonesia will play an important role in managing ASEAN cooperation as the 5th largest economy in the world with a value of 3.3 trillion USD, which also involves ASEAN partner economies worth 84.6 trillion USD (2021).
“We have a big capital to reach it (epicentrum of growth). But ASEAN must work harder, more collaboratively, braver and move faster. ASEAN also needs long-term tactical and practical strategies that align with the needs of the people, not just for the next five years, but also for the next 20 years until 2045,” said Indonesian president Joko Widodo.
Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
For more information about ASEAN Jakarta 2023, click here.