Jakarta: Indonesia President Joko Widodo on Thursday thanked leaders of the East Asia Summit for making it a forum for all in order to strengthen cooperation.

In his address to the 18th East Asia Summit that began in Jakarta today, Widodo said, "Essentially we acknowledge stability and peace as the main key to achieve prosperity. ASEAN is steadfast in making this vision an epicentrum of growth and therefore ASEAN will continue to work to play a role as country leader..."

"ASEAN will really appreciate that if this East Asia summit can agree on a leader statement and its determination as the epicentrum of growth," Widodo said.

Indonesia is the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year.

The Indonesian President said that it is at this time when the international community will assess if "we are leaders with the wisdom to make the world a better place for all."

"I thank once again the leaders of the East Asia Summit of making this forum for us to strengthen the cooperation. I call on all the leaders to show the wisdom, to show the leadership for the success of this," said Widodo as he declared the East Asia Summit open.

The East Asia Summit would provide an opportunity for leaders of ASEAN countries and its eight dialogue partners, including India, to exchange views on issues of regional and global significance.

East Asia Summit is the foremost of the ASEAN-centered mechanisms in the Indo-Pacific. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in providing a platform for dialogue and discussion on matters of strategic importance to the region.

At this 18 th East Asia Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders will discuss ways to further strengthen the East Asia Summit mechanism, as well as exchange views on matters of regional and international interest.

EAS consists of 10 ASEAN Member States (i.e. Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam), Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and the USA. East Asia Summit is an initiative of ASEAN and is based on the premise of the centrality of ASEAN.

Prime Minister Modi attended the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit at the invitation of Indonesia's President Joko Widodo. The Prime Minister's visit to Indonesia comes ahead of the G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi on September 9-10 under India's Presidency this year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who arrived in Indonesia early Thursday morning said that it is an "honour" for him to co-chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India summit.

Earlier PM Modi said he is looking forward to “working with various leaders for making a better planet.” He said, "Last year we celebrated the India-ASEAN Friendship Day and gave it a form of comprehensive strategic partnership..."

The ASEAN-India Summit is the first summit since the elevation of the ties between India and the ASEAN bloc of countries to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2022.

“Engagement with ASEAN is an important pillar of India’s ‘Act East’ policy,” PM Modi said in his departure statement. The 20th ASEAN-India Summit is a “greatly cherished” partnership, PM Modi said in a post on X.