Indonesian president calls for South-East Asian travel corridor

 Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, on Monday called for a South-East Asian travel corridor to revive the economy as Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases subside in the region.

Joko disclosed this to a business forum ahead of the summit of the Association of South-East Asian Nations(ASEAN) scheduled for Oct. 26 to 28.

He said countries in the region had imposed some of the world’s toughest restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“ASEAN economic recovery must be accelerated by reactivating travel, including safe tourism.

“With the Covid-19 situation increasingly under control, mobility restrictions can be loosened,” he said.

He said the so-called ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement proposed by Indonesia in 2020 should be implemented as soon as possible.

On Oct. 14, Indonesia reopened its tourist islands of Bali and Riau Archipelago to visitors from 19 countries.

However, fellow ASEAN countries including Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand were not among them.

Indonesia has gradually eased COVID-19 restrictions after a surge in  cases overwhelmed hospitals in June and July, but in recent weeks daily cases have sunk to below 1,000.

The world’s fourth most populous country has recorded more than 4.2 million coronavirus cases with more than 143,000 deaths. (dpa/NAN) 

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