JAKARTA-- Indonesias Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi stated that economic cooperation should be prioritized in ASEAN and India relationship.

"We have to take the opportunity from global economic recovery," Marsudi said here.

ASEAN and India have the potential to generate the worlds economy, with its huge market of more than 2 billion population and total Gross Domestic Product of US$25 billion.

"Our trade and investment have moved toward an increase, although it is yet to reach its actual potential. For instance, total trade in 2016 had reached $58.4 billion," she stated.

Foreign direct investment from India to ASEAN has been recorded at $1.05 billion.

"We have to double our efforts to increase two-way cooperation in trade and investment," she noted.

ASEAN and India should also work harder to speed up the comprehensive regional economic partnership, she added.

"Economic integration could benefit all of us," the minister remarked.

In addition, she revealed that business-to-business relations must be strengthened, as India has been a strategic partner for Indonesia.

Indonesia has a strong commitment to improve its contribution to the region.

Separately, Secretary General of ASEAN, Lim Jock Hoi, said that the association was committed to strengthen the dynamic and mutual cooperation with India.

"India is one of the main strategic partners of ASEAN," Hoi stated here during the meeting of ASEAN-India Network of Think-Tanks on Saturday.

He noted that the meeting functions as a strategic platform to share ideas of cooperation between ASEAN and India.

He added that the ASEAN partner has contributed to the development of ASEAN community based on mutual regulation.

The cooperation of ASEAN and its partners, including India, also contributed to regional stability and prosperity.

Several challenges faced by ASEAN region include terrorism, radicalism, cyber attack, and maritime security, Hoi remarked, adding that the issues could affect the peace and regional stability of ASEAN.

"We should enhance mutual understanding to handle challenges. ASEAN and India, in the future, should develop what we have achieved today," Hoi revealed.

He appreciated the strong support of India to ASEAN in developing regional architecture. Hoi called on India to continue its active participation and significant contribution to the ASEAN regional development.

India is the sixth biggest trade partner and the seventh biggest foreign direct investment for ASEAN.

The implementation of ASEAN-India free trade area will help in increasing the economic condition in ASEAN, Hoi pointed out.

The secretary general added that the connectivity cooperation should be the strategic priority to tighten mutual relationship between ASEAN and India.


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