News Article | Feb 6, 2023 | 08:24
The Netherlands and ASEAN: Trusted Friends, Natural Partners
What can a country of about 18 million people offer a regional block of 10 countries with over 600 million people?
Quite a lot as a result!
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is headquartered in Jakarta and part of the Dutch Embassy’s job is to foster relations with this regional group. 55th Anniversaryth Since my birthday last year, ASEAN is more important to us than ever. It plays a central role in maintaining the prosperity, peace and security of the Indo-Pacific region.
ASEAN boasts the highest economic growth rate in the world. More than 30% of the world’s maritime trade passes through the South China Sea, and half of the Club’s members have borders in the South China Sea. Impressive, isn’t it? Indonesia is the chair country this year and has chosen the apt catchphrase “ASEAN is important, epicenter of growth”.
It is certainly important for the Netherlands. Last year, Japan joined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. It means that the Netherlands and ASEAN have officially become friendly.
This year, we look forward to working closely with Indonesia to elevate that friendship into an even closer partnership.
Because we are convinced that the Netherlands is also important for ASEAN. We have a lot to offer each other. Did you know that our country is her largest EU investor in the ASEAN region, or her over 3,000 students from ASEAN countries study in the Netherlands each year?
In addition to our universities, the Netherlands has a number of ‘Centers of Excellence’, knowledge institutions of particular interest to Southeast Asian countries. For example, the renowned Klingendael Institute for International Relations annually trains her more than 40 diplomats from the ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN Member States.
Finally, we share similar views on international relations. Intensifying conflicts between great powers will lead to increased tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, including Southeast Asia. Neither ASEAN nor the Netherlands are in a position to profit from a world where “force does justice”. A commitment to international law and multilateralism can be said to be part of the common DNA of both countries. The promotion of international legal order is also enshrined in the Dutch Constitution and Article 90 makes it an obligation of the Dutch government.
These are all reasons why the Netherlands and ASEAN can trust each other in a turbulent world. Not only as a friend, but also as a partner. 2023 and beyond.
Timor El Dardiri
Advisor for ASEAN and Deputy Director General, Political Department, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Indonesia
https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/latest-news/news/2023/06/02/a-note-from-timor-el-dardiry Note from Timor El Dardiri | News Article