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U.S. Business Delegation to ASEAN Secretariat Encourages Continued Regional Integration

(Jakarta) – The US-ASEAN Business Council held its annual ASEAN Secretariat Business Mission today, with ten leading U.S. companies engaging top officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat in Jakarta to further develop longstanding commercial ties with the region.
The delegation was received by ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Le Luong Minh; Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economic Community H.E. Lim Hong Hin; Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee; officials from the ASEAN Political-Security Cooperation Department; leaders of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council; and the Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre of Energy Dr. Sanjayan Velautham.  The Mission also featured a briefing from Ambassador Daniel Shields, Charg? d’affaires ad interim at the U.S. Mission to ASEAN; a luncheon with the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to ASEAN H.E. Tan Hun Seng and ASEAN Secretariat Connectivity Division Director Lim Chze Cheen; and a reception hosted by the Honorable Joseph R. Donovan Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia.
The Mission was co-led by Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director at the US-ASEAN Business Council; Marc Mealy, Vice President for Policy at the US-ASEAN Business Council; and Archawat Chareonsilp, ASEAN Public Affairs and Communications Director at the Coca-Cola Company, Chair of the Council’s ASEAN Committee.
Discussions between the business delegation and Secretariat officials focused on how U.S. companies can support ongoing regional integration efforts under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which launched in 2015.  The delegation expressed support for continued progress on implementing the next generation of reforms associated with the ASEAN Free Trade Area, ASEAN Single Window, and the use of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA’s) to regionally harmonize rules and standards across a wide range of industries and sectors.  The annual ASEAN Secretariat Business Mission, along with the annual participation in meetings of the ASEAN Economic Ministers, Finance Ministers, Agriculture & Forestry Ministers, Energy Ministers, Transport Ministers, Customs Directors-General, and Telecommunications Senior Officials make up the cornerstones of the Council’s regional engagement strategy.

“As we mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and the 40th anniversary of U.S.-ASEAN relations, this year’s visit to the Secretariat is a timely opportunity to take stock of ASEAN’s many successes, as well as to identify opportunities for continued integration and growth,” said Ambassador Michalak.  “We are encouraged by the progress already made in realizing the promise of the ASEAN Economic Community, and pledge the U.S. business community’s support as implementation proceeds.”

“As the fifth largest economy in the world, and the United States’ fourth largest export market, U.S. companies increasingly recognize the value of engaging ASEAN as a unified economic bloc,” said Marc Mealy.  “As its Member States work together to harmonize technical regulations, streamline intra-regional trade, and facilitate the movement of skilled labor, ASEAN has an opportunity to differentiate itself as Asia’s leading business-friendly regionally integrated market and production platform which is also globally connected.  This will benefit the people of ASEAN above all else.”
“With operations in all ten ASEAN countries, Coca-Cola recognizes the region’s unmatched dynamism and enormous potential,” said Archawat Chareonsilp of Coca-Cola.  “The Secretariat has a vital role to play in ensuring that ASEAN maintains this momentum over its next 50 years.  U.S. companies are well positioned to contribute to its continued success, and we thank Secretary-General Minh and his staff for their partnership.”

Companies participating in the delegation included 3M, Amazon Web Services, Citi, Coca-Cola, GE, MasterCard, Mattel, S&P Global Platts, Visa, and White & Case.


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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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

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.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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