LABUAN BAJO, NusaBali.com - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) hoped that the natural beauty of Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai District, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), and the friendliness of its people will encourage ASEAN leaders to realize a stable and peaceful region.
The President made the remarks during a dinner with leaders of ASEAN countries, which was held as part of the 42nd ASEAN Summit agenda at Ayana Komodo Waecicu Beach, Labuan Bajo, on Wednesday.
“Hopefully, the beauty of nature and the friendliness of the local residents here can encourage us to support ASEAN as a peaceful and stable region, as well as a center of growth," he said.
He once again welcomed the leaders of ASEAN countries and their companions and delegations to Labuan Bajo, which he described as one of the most beautiful places in Indonesia.
The President also informed them that Komodo Island, the habitat of native Indonesian fauna, namely the Komodo dragons, was located not far from the venue of the dinner.
The dinner for the leaders of ASEAN countries attending the 2023 ASEAN Summit began with dance performances by the E-Project and Ekosdance Company dance groups, which were directed by choreographer Eko Supriyanto. The musical accompaniment was composed by Ronald Steven.
The vocal group GAC also performed the song Puspa Warni composed by Guruh Soekarnoputra at the dinner event.
Widodo then went up to the main stage to deliver his remarks and expressed the hope that the leaders of ASEAN countries would enjoy the banquet.
"Enjoy the banquet, enjoy the beauty of Labuan Bajo, and enjoy the show tonight," he said in his closing remarks.
Before the dinner banquet, the President invited the leaders of ASEAN countries and their companions to enjoy the sunset from a pinisi boat that set sail from Labuan Bajo Port.
Labuan Bajo is hosting the 42nd ASEAN Summit from May 9–11, 2023. The next summit will be held in Jakarta in September.
During this year's chairmanship, Indonesia has raised the theme "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth" to reflect that ASEAN is important and relevant as a world growth center.
In 2019, Labuan Bajo was designated as one of the five super-priority tourism destinations along with Borobudur, Magelang; Lake Toba, North Sumatra; Likupang, North Sulawesi; and Mandalika, West Nusa Tenggara. *ant