The United States (US) on Thursday expressed enthusiasm about its relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and vowed commitment to the latter’s centrality and inclusivity.
Speaking during the first day of the two-day US-Asean Special Summit here, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo affirmed America’s commitment to the Asean principle as America’s business leaders and Asean leaders explore how to strengthen economic ties and solve global problems together.
“Today, now I’m announcing that the United States government’s largest indoor trade mission and business development forum called ‘Trade Winds’ will be held in Southeast Asia next year spring 2023 in Thailand,” Raimondo said.
The forum, she added, would feature Thailand as a regional hub and include the spin-off visits to five other Asean markets.
“So this is a strong evidence for our commitment to the region. I have to say, this is just one of many efforts that we have underway to strengthen our ties with Asean member states,” she said, adding that the US is planning a health care mission to Southeast Asia in September of this year, and advanced manufacturing in October.
Raimondo cited the importance of working together in the areas of supply chain manufacturing, clean energy, and health care.
Cross border privacy rules
“I am very pleased that the Philippines and Singapore join the US establishment of the global cross border privacy rules. That forum will help companies demonstrate compliance with internationally recognized data privacy standards. I want again to say that the United States welcomes raw education in that form,” she said.
She bared plans that the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies will launch an institute for rising leaders where public service leaders from all Asean countries can sharpen their skills.
Meanwhile, US President Joseph Biden Jr. welcomed Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez to the White House where Biden hosted a dinner for nine other Asean leaders from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Biden is hosting the summit from May 12 to 13 where discussions would focus on strengthening ties between the US and Asean, the digital economy, sustainability, clean energy transition, economic cooperation, health care, and supply chain resilience, among others.
“This initiative about working together with Asean countries to together train the next generation of leaders, the next generation of people, rising leaders, and public servants who will continue to work and continue on with the work we do have all started,” Raimondo added.
The US-Asean Special Summit is held for the first time here as the White House re-affirms its “enduring commitment to Southeast Asia and underscores the importance of US-Asean cooperation in ensuring security, prosperity, and respect for human rights.”
Source: Philippines News Agency