GCC and ASEAN to Embark on New Level of Cooperation
The first of its kind GCC-ASEAN summit, hosted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, charted a roadmap for collective efforts for cooperation and partnership in various domains to serve their mutual interests. It marked regional collaboration and set the stage for a strategic partnership between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
This summit reflects the appreciation of the participating countries for Saudi Arabia’s regional and international significance. They are eager to engage in partnerships with influential blocs in the international community.
Participating nations emphasized development and economics, and recognized the need to adopt a balanced political stance.
Both blocs have decided to hold the GCC-ASEAN summit biennially; this reflects their commitment to sustained dialogue and strengthened ties. Moreover, the agreement to rotate the summit’s venue emphasizes the inclusivity and shared responsibility of the member states in shaping the future of their strategic partnership.
GCC-ASEAN will collaborate on initiatives in diverse sectors – development, trade, economy, cultural exchange and technological innovation. The respective leaders of the participating nations affirmed their dedication to fostering peace, security and prosperity. They also highlighted the adherence to international law, good neighborliness, and peaceful dispute resolution.
The two blocs want to cooperate in the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, maritime, connectivity, sustainable development goals (SDGs), and economic collaboration. They recognized the importance of oceans, seas in driving regional growth, advocating for peace, stability and maritime safety.
The summit also drew attention to multilateral and bilateral relations and cooperation, addressing global challenges, ensuring sustainable supply chains, and promoting cooperation in various sectors.
GCC and ASEAN Summit is Significant
Ali Dabkhal Al-Anzi, a professor at King Saud University, believes the GCC and ASEAN through the summit and continued cooperation will enhance their economic, political, and cultural options with different countries and blocs.
He explained the summit is of utmost importance in terms of timing and objectives, particularly at a time when the world is undergoing significant geopolitical changes at all levels. “This necessitates the diversification of options and the weaving of relationships between GCC countries and other political and economic blocs, including the ASEAN, which boasts a combined domestic product of approximately $5 trillion.”
Al-Anzi said the summit enhances partnership opportunities, opens avenues for investment and has a positive impact on global economic stability. ASEAN expert Abdullah Bouqas said the GCC and ASEAN will collectively achieve economic and investment convergence. He believes it might incentivize member states to maintain neutrality in geopolitical conflicts among major powers, prioritize their people’s interests and promote economic growth by bolstering a multipolar system.