Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Indonesian president calls for ASEAN travel corridor process

Indonesian president calls for ASEAN travel corridor process

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The international terminal area of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport remains empty with no arrivals, on Thursday. THE JAKARTA POST

Indonesian president calls for ASEAN travel corridor process

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on October 25 called on Southeast Asian nations to “reactivate safe travel” to help the region’s economy recover, as the Covid-19 situation begins to improve in some countries.

He said the ASEAN travel corridor arrangement framework, initiated by Indonesia last year to facilitate the resumption of essential travel in the region, “needs to be implemented immediately”.

This could be achieved through the recognition of vaccination certificates issued by ASEAN nations and travel lanes for inoculated travellers with negative Covid-19 tests on arrival, among other things, the Indonesian leader said via video link at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

“With the Covid-19 situation getting under control, these restrictions can be reduced,” Jokowi told ASEAN leaders as well as business and thought leaders.

“If all ASEAN countries immediately facilitate the mobility of people safely, the wheels of the economy can move again.”

He stressed that healthcare must remain the top priority, and the vaccination target of 70 per cent of the population in ASEAN countries “must be achieved as soon as possible”.

He urged ASEAN countries to work together to “accelerate and equalise vaccination” in the short term, and develop health crisis protocols in the medium term to ensure that the region becomes more resilient to future health crises.

Jokowi said Indonesia will gradually reopen parts of the country where full Covid-19 vaccination of two doses exceed 70 per cent.

Currently, more than 32 per cent of Indonesia’s target population is fully vaccinated.

Bali reopened to foreign visitors on October 14 for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic early last year.

Strict health protocols include a mandatory eight-day quarantine at the travellers’ own expense. The president said the popular resort island was reopened after 84.9 per cent of the population there had been fully vaccinated.

Indonesia is currently the worst hit by Covid-19 in South-east Asia, with daily infections exceeding 50,000 at its peak in July, largely due to mass travel during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid al-Fitr) Muslim holiday and the spread of the Delta variant.

Cases have since fallen following social curbs put in place in mid-July. As of October 25, total infections stood at 4.24 million, and deaths 143,235.

At the virtual summit on October 25, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is confident that two-way trade between the United Kingdom and ASEAN – totalling some £40 billion ($55 billion) annually before the pandemic – will rise in coming years.“As we all seek to build back better from coronavirus, I want to see that figure rise further still. And I’m sure it will because global Britain is once again open to the world,” he said in a pre-recorded video.

His speech followed the UK being made the first new dialogue partner of ASEAN in 25 years.

The transition period following Britain’s withdrawal from the EU expired on January 1 this year, with Johnson seeking to create a more agile “Global Britain”.

Johnson said on October 25: “We’re embracing new partners and reacquainting ourselves with old friends.

“We’re negotiating ambitious and wide-ranging free-trade deals with a degree of speed and efficacy that few thought possible. And we’re pioneering high-tech frontiers, with a new ASEAN-UK Digital Innovation Partnership underpinned by our Digital Trade Network.”



  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Ministry using ChatGPT AI to ‘ease workload’; Khmer version planned

    The Digital Government Committee is planning to make a Khmer language version of popular artificial intelligence (AI) technology ChatGPT available to the public in the near future, following extensive testing. On March 9, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications revealed that it has been using the

  • Wat Phnom hornbills attract tourists, locals

    Thanks to the arrival of a friendly flock of great hornbills, Hour Rithy, a former aviculturist – or raiser of birds – in Kratie province turned Phnom Penh tuk tuk driver, has seen a partial return to his former profession. He has become something of a guide

  • PM urges end to ‘baseless’ international Ream base accusations

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urges an end to “baseless” foreign accusations surrounding the development of the Kingdom’s Ream Naval Base, as the US has consistently suggested that the base is being expanded to accommodate a Chinese military presence. Hun Sen renewed his calls while

  • EU’s Sokha resolution ‘a sovereign rights breach’

    The National Assembly (NA) said the European Parliament (EP) did not respect the Kingdom’s independence and sovereignty when it passed a resolution strongly critical of the recent conviction and sentencing of former opposition leader Kem Sokha for “treason”. On March 16, the EP issued a