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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   3 April 2013  

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April 3, 2013

U.S. Business Groups Welcome Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee to Washington

U.S. Chamber, US-ASEAN Business Council Tout Bilateral Economic Relationship, Singapore’s Role in TPP Negotiations
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the US-ASEAN Business Council welcomed Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at a dinner tonight at the Four Seasons in Washington. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue, and US-ASEAN Business Council President Alexander Feldman delivered remarks touting both the bilateral economic relationship between the U.S. and Singapore and Singapore’s role in ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
“U.S. leadership and commercial engagement in Asia remain vital to peace, security, and prosperity across the globe,” said Donohue.  “The U.S. has always looked to Singapore to help us navigate this important area of the world. Its wisdom and insights are invaluable.  And we now have an opportunity to advance all of these goals through a high-standard, 21st-century TPP agreement that would expand free trade across the Pacific, drive the global economic recovery, create badly needed jobs, and advance economic and social progress in developing and developed countries alike.”
“Singapore’s leadership in ASEAN is critical to successful implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, and its model in developing an open, competitive business environment has enabled it to serve as a hub for American business in the region and an example of what pro free trade and investment policies can do for an economy,” said Feldman. “The U.S.-Singapore Free Trade agreement has led to nearly 60% growth in bilateral trade since it took force in 2003, and is a model for successful, mutually beneficial, high-standards trade agreements.”  
Singapore is an ally and strategic partner to the United States. The country was America’s first free trade partner in Asia, and today, it is America’s 11th largest export market with two-way trade in goods and services totaling $65 billion. According to Commerce Department figures, U.S. exports to Singapore created or supported more than 190,000 U.S. jobs in 2012.
The US-ASEAN Business Council represents more than 125 major U.S. corporations, ranging from those that have been active in Southeast Asia for a century to newcomers looking to expand their presence in one of the world’s most dynamic markets. With long-established personal and professional relationships in ASEAN and Washington, the Council is the most effective conduit between decision-makers on both sides of the Pacific.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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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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