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U.S. Companies Discuss Trade Facilitation with ASEAN Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation Working Group

The US-ASEAN Business Council held its first ever workshop with the ASEAN Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation Working Group (CPTFWG) in Ho Chi Minh City today. Held on the sidelines of the CPTFWG’s regular fall meeting, the event gave the U.S. business community and ASEAN customs officials the opportunity to expand their dialogue on developing international supply chains and e-commerce in Southeast Asia. The Council’s delegation of eight U.S. companies was led by Ambassador Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council, and Shiumei Lin, Vice President of Public Affairs for UPS and Chair of the Council’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee.

“We are excited to meet the CPTFWG here today and we look forward to continuing our work with ASEAN’s customs leaders to strengthen regional economic integration through the ASEAN Economic Community” said Ambassador Michalak. “An efficient and accessible customs regime that can promote trade and connect small businesses will be critical to the success of ASEAN.”

The workshop included presentations and panel discussions on cross-border e-commerce, customs valuation, and supply chain connectivity by private sector customs experts.

“e-Commerce is creating tremendous growth opportunities for ASEAN businesses, instantaneously integrating our companies, many of them small and medium enterprises, into the regional and global marketplace,” said Shiumei Lin of UPS. “Customs Administrations throughout the world are important stakeholders in the success of e-Commerce, enabling the critical fulfillment of the purchases. The Council’s members look forward to working with ASEAN customs leaders to facilitate trade of low-value shipments and simplify procedures while managing border risks and the new challenges faced by customs officers.”

The event includes representatives, delegates, and subject experts from Baker & McKenzie, Deloitte, EY, GM, Intel, Nike, Philip Morris International, Procter & Gamble, and UPS from the business community, as well as the ASEAN Secretariat and nine of the ten ASEAN member states.

For over 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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