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Business and Government Leaders Discuss Managing Risk in ASEAN

New York, New York - On Monday, April 14th the US-ASEAN Business Council and the American-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce co-hosted “Managing Risk in ASEAN: Opportunities and Challenges,” at the Yale Club in New York City.

As the Council recently released in ASEAN Matters for America, ASEAN hosts $190 billion in cumulative U.S. foreign direct investment which is by far the largest amount of U.S. investment in Asia, but future growth in those investments will be tied to assessments of the risk environment.

This one-day conference brought together business, government and think tank leaders to offer their insight into political and economic risks in the region. Indonesian Minister of Finance Dr. Chatib Basri and Governor of Bank Indonesia Agus Martowardojo joined the event to offer their analysis of recent political and economic experiences in their home country. They offered Indonesia as a case study on strategies for mitigating risk throughout Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on addressing the concerns of Financial Services and Mining firms working in Indonesia, ASEAN’s largest economy.

“The US-ASEAN Business Council is pleased to engage our members in the New York financial services community and our friends in the mining sector, along with a host of other businesses engaged in ASEAN, to provide expert analysis on how to best navigate a region promising both growth and risk,” said Alexander Feldman, President of the US-ASEAN Business Council.  “The Council encourages American investors and companies to take advantage of improving business opportunities across Southeast Asia and we see an event like this as a key component to developing a thorough understanding of the ASEAN investment environment.”

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scot Marciel, who previously served as U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, kicked off the day’s discussion with opening remarks focused on the growing strategic importance of regional partnerships as U.S. companies engage ASEAN countries and the regional security situation becomes more complex.
The day’s panelists included numerous business and government leaders from both the U.S. and Indonesia, and touched on a wide ranging set of topics including regional political developments, macroeconomic trends in Southeast Asia, and opportunities offered for investment by increasing regional integration, including infrastructure and capital markets. Panelists drew a positive contrast between ASEAN’s experience during the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98 and the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09.

“The American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce was very pleased by the high turnout for the event as well as the willing participation of key Indonesian economic leaders who not only made strong presentations but engaged individually with many of our members,” said Wayne Forrest, President of the American-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. “Some are large organizations deeply involved with Indonesia's economy or small firms new to the country deciding whether or not to move forward with an investment. In either case, the event allowed them to hear a full spectrum of expert risk analysis during this time of major political transition, perhaps persuading them to move forward. We look forward to working on future events such as this with our partners at the US-ASEAN Business Council.”
The event was sponsored by AIG, Asia Pulp and Paper, BKPM, Newmont Mining, Equinox Partners, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Control Risks, Freeport McMoRan, ACE Group and KPMG.


For 30 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, Council Members generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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