On the sideline: ASEAN leaders and ministers (from left to right) Brunei’s Finance and Economy Minister Amin Liew Abdullah, Indonesia’s Coordinating Economics Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Asian Development Bank president Masatsugu Asakawa, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Philippines’ President Ferdinand Marcos, ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn, Malaysia’s Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli and Philippines’ Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Maria Belen Acosta pose for a family photo before the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, the East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) meeting during the ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo on May 11, 2023. (AFP/Pool/Bay Ismoyo) Kornelius Purba (The Jakarta Post)
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reaped international praise for not only foiling threats from the leaders of major countries like United States President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron to boycott the Group of 20 Summit in Bali last November, but also for guiding the world’s 20 largest economies to unified political stances and concrete economic commitments.
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Unsurprisingly, when Jokowi took the ASEAN helm from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen late last year, hopes were rife he would lead the regional grouping to major breakthroughs with ease, including a bold agreement to end the military’s rampant atrocities in Myanmar. Jokowi’s magic, however, did not work during the ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara last week.
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