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US-ASEAN Business Council and East-West Center Launch ASEAN Matters for America

Washington D.C. - The US-ASEAN Business Council and the East-West Center will launch a new publication and online tool today called ASEAN Matters for America. ASEAN Matters for America outlines the essential role ASEAN plays in American economic prosperity as by far the largest destination in Asia for U.S. investment and the 4th largest export market for American products. ASEAN holds a key geo-strategic role as the crossroads of global trade, as it sits between China and India and is surrounded by some of the world’s most vital sea lanes.

The project can be accessed at www.aseanmattersforamerica.orgThe project collects in one place for the first time key statistics, news, infographics and analysis about the vital role ASEAN plays in America’s economic prosperity, and provides data down to the state and congressional district levels on trade and jobs connected to Southeast Asia. The official launch will be held at the Senate Visitor’s Center on Capitol Hill, and will feature remarks from Senate East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Ben Cardin, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, and Under Secretary of State for Economics, Energy and the environment Catherine Novelli.

ASEAN is composed of 10 countries with a collective $2.4 trillion GDP. In 2015, the ASEAN nations will come together in the ASEAN Economic Community. The AEC will provide for mobility of goods, services, and skilled professionals, and will form a single economic region of 626 million consumers. Taken together, ASEAN is the world’s 7th largest economy.

"For 30 years, the Council has been one of the strongest advocates for American engagement with ASEAN, however, even we were surprised by how large of an economic stake U.S. business has in Southeast Asia when compared to countries that are often mentioned more in the media,” said Alexander Feldman, President of the US-ASEAN Business Council.  “ASEAN is the number one destination for U.S. investment anywhere in Asia, but what we did not realize is that the $190 billion American business has invested in ASEAN is more than the U.S. has invested in China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and New Zealand combined.”

“The Asia Matters for America series draws attention to the essential role that Asia plays in U.S. growth and prosperity,” said Satu Limaye, Washington D.C. Director of the East-West Center. “By providing data that shows how many jobs trade with ASEAN creates and how many dollars are spent by ASEAN tourists and students in every district in the U.S., we can help local leaders understand the importance of ASEAN to their bottom lines. 21 states send at least $1 billion in goods exports to ASEAN each year, and 57% of congressional districts exported at least $100 million in goods to ASEAN during 2012.”

ASEAN represents America’s 4th largest export market, and the nearly $100 billion of U.S. goods and services that go to ASEAN each year support more than 560,000 U.S. jobs. Over 3 million Americans visit ASEAN countries annually, and visitors from ASEAN countries spend over $4 billion in the U.S. each year. ASEAN investment in the U.S. has grown by more than 1400% since 2001.
The ASEAN Matters for America Project is a joint effort of the US-ASEAN Business Council, ISEAS, and the East-West Center, and was made possible by the support of Ace Group, AIG, Chevron, Citi, UPS, Caterpillar, the Coca-Cola Company, ExxonMobil, HP, Syngenta, and Time Warner.


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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