ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
US-Asean enter Expanded Economic Engagement (E3)
The United States and Asean have drawn up a new framework for economic cooperation to expand trade and investment.
The so-called US-Asean Expanded Economic Engagement, or E3 initiative, was agreed upon during a meeting between US President Barack Obama and leaders of the 10 Asean nations yesterday in Phnom Penh.
The E3 initiative will create new business opportunities and jobs in all 11 countries, a White House statement said.
It identifies specific ways in which to facilitate US-Asean trade and investment, increase efficiency and competitiveness of trade flows and supply chains throughout Asean, and build greater awareness of the commercial opportunities that the growing US-Asean economic relationship presents.
"By working together on these E3 initiatives, the US and Asean will lay the groundwork for Asean countries to prepare to join high-standard trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement," the statement said.
E3 will begin with a set of concrete joint activities that will include:
- Negotiation of a US-Asean trade facilitation agreement such as simplified customs procedures and increased transparency of customs administration.
- Joint development of information and communications technology principles, to guide policymakers on issues like cross-border information flows.
- Joint development of investment principles to address essential elements of investment policies, including market access, non-discrimination, investor protection, transparency, and responsible business conduct.
- Additional work on standards development and practices for small- and medium-sized enterprises and trade and the environment.
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