ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
U.S. Business Delegation to ASEAN Secretariat Promotes Regional Resiliency & Innovation
(Jakarta) – The US-ASEAN Business Council held its annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat Business Mission today, with 12 leading U.S. companies engaging top officials from the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta to build relationships with the newly-installed leadership and further develop longstanding commercial ties with the region.
The delegation was received by the recently-appointed ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Lim Jock Hoi; Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to ASEAN H.E. Tan Hun Seng; Director Rodora Turalde Babaran, Officer-in-Charge of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Department; Director Julia Tijaja, Officer-in-Charge of the ASEAN Economic Community Department, and; Head of the Security Cooperation Division of the ASEAN Secretariat, Assistant Director Retno Astrini.
This year’s Mission also featured a briefing from Jane Bocklage, Charg? d’affaires ad interim at the U.S. Mission to ASEAN and a luncheon with Ms. Elaine Tan, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation; Dr. Sanjayan Velautham, Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Energy; Ms. Adelina Kamal, Executive Director of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre), and; Tan Sri Dr. Rebecca, Senior Policy Fellow at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). The Mission will be concluded with a reception co-hosted by Jane Bocklage and the Honorable Joseph R. Donovan Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia.
The Mission was co-led by Alexander Feldman, President & CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council; Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, Senior Vice President & Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council; and Chair of the Council’s ASEAN Committee, Archawat Chareonsilp, ASEAN Public Affairs and Communications Director of the Coca-Cola Company.
In addition to meeting the new leadership, discussions between the delegation and Secretariat focused on understanding how the U.S. business community can best contribute to forging a Resilient and Innovative ASEAN under Singapore’s 2018 ASEAN Chairmanship. The delegation expressed its support for progress under the ASEAN Free Trade Area, ASEAN Single Window, and the use of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) to regionally harmonize rules and standards across a wide range of industries and sectors. The delegation also encouraged the continued development of the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement, ASEAN e-Commerce Agreement, and ASEAN Framework on Digital Data Governance as efforts to boost regional harmonization.
The annual ASEAN Secretariat Business Mission, along with the Council’s annual participation in the meetings of the ASEAN Economic Ministers, Finance Ministers, Agriculture & Forestry Ministers, Energy Ministers, Transport Ministers, Customs Directors-General, and Telecommunications Ministers, make up the cornerstones of the Council’s regional engagement strategy.
“The US-ASEAN Business Council held its inaugural ASEAN Secretariat Business Mission in 2013, and our relationship with the Secretariat has only grown stronger with each year,” said Mr. Feldman. “We look forward to advancing this partnership with Secretary-General Lim and his team, and as always, the U.S. business community stands ready to support ASEAN and the ASEAN Economic Community as it continues to work towards its goal of regional integration. We are excited for Singapore’s chair year and this theme of Resilience and Innovation.”
“Projected to grow to US$200 billion by 2025, the ASEAN Digital Economy presents many opportunities and challenges, especially with e-commerce in the spotlight,” said Ambassador Michalak. “E-commerce is borderless and has an impact across all industries; and hence, the need for policy harmonization is more crucial than ever for attracting business and delivering prosperity for the region overall. It will help ASEAN continue to develop as a competitive hub for global investment.”
“Coca-Cola has had a long-standing presence in ASEAN, with over 105 years of operations in the Philippines and over 82 years in Singapore and Malaysia. It is no wonder why this dynamic region continues to be the number one destination for U.S. investment in Asia,” said Archawat Chareonsilp of Coca-Cola. “Meeting with various departments in the Secretariat has allowed our businesses to understand how we can better support synergies across the economic, political-security, and socio-cultural pillars. We thank the Secretariat for this opportunity, and their continued support of U.S. businesses in the region.”
Companies participating in the delegation included 3M, Amazon Web Services, Citi, Coca-Cola, FedEx, Gilead Sciences, Mastercard, Oracle, Procter & Gamble, Rockwell Automation, Time Warner, and Visa.
For more than 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, the Council's 150+ membership generates 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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