For the countries of Southeast Asia, this year’s rather tumultuous G20 summit held unprecedented opportunities to present themselves as good multilateralists and shape the outcomes of the annual meeting, at least in theory. Apart from Indonesia, the only permanent member of the club, Vietnam, in its function as current Chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), attended the summit and Filipino President Duterte who currently chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) equally expected an invitation.
Indonesia has been an active member of G20 since the forum’s inception in 1999. After the ministerial forum was upgraded to be a leader forum in 2008, Indonesian Presidents never missed the summits. Despite their tight domestic affairs schedules both former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the current President Joko Widodo have been in regular attendance at all summit meetings.