Indonesia will assume the chair of ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023 and aim at a reviving the people-centered ASEANvalue in the effort to ground the concepts and benefits of the regional cooperation. However, considering the various challenges which have occurred in recent years, and notwithstanding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the economic and health sectors, this may prove to be testing.
In line with efforts to recover the economy in the region and the importance of Indonesia playing a leading role in its chairmanship, the Agency for the Study and Policy Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia considers that one of the agendas for ASEAN’s cultivated sectors in need of further strengthening and developing is the optimization of economic cooperation. The sector of e-Commerce, particularly SMEs, developed into a buffer for the economy, has proven resilient in facing the global health and economic crisis. MSMEs in ASEAN have survived in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic with the advantages of their digital transaction services which are generally quite easy to get around and accommodate the need for implementing health protocols compared to other retail sectors that are direct selling. According to data, the MSME sector employs a workforce of up to 60-80% of total employment in ASEAN and has proven the ability to co-exist in the new normal era.
In accordance with the duties and functions of the BPPK, the Center for Policy Analysis and Development for Asia-Pacific and Africa annually conducts collaborative study partnerships with partner universities related to issues that arise, both in the regional and global scope. The partnership review activity is intended to gather input and findings that can be processed into policy strategy recommendations related to the issues in question.
This year, the ASEAN Studies Center UGM is appointed as partner in a research cooperation with the theme “Indonesia’s Chairmanship in ASEAN 2023: Optimizing Strengthening the ASEAN E-Commerce Sector in the Context of Accelerating Economic Recovery”.
On Thursday, 8 April 2021 a signing took place on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ASEAN Studies Center UGM and Center for Policy Analysis and Development (BPPK) for Asia-Pacific and Africa at the Grhatama Building, Regional Library and Archives Service D.I. Yogyakarta. The signing was carried out by the Head of Center for Policy Analysis and Development for Asia-Pacific and Africa, Muhammad Takdir together with the Executive Director of ASC UGM Dr. Dafri Agussalim, who was accompanied by Yulida Nuraini Santoso, M.Sc as the Managing Director of ASC UGM and Pulung Setiosuci Perbawani S.IP, MM as lead researcher of the research project.