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May 1, 2024

President's Newsletter, April 2024

Authored by
april 2024 newsletter 1
May 1, 2024

Dear members, 

April was another exciting month, building upon the momentum that we have generated so far this year.  I’ll start this message with a few highlights, then a fuller description of our events will follow. 

On April 12, the Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce co-hosted a business forum with the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., during his visit to the United States for the first trilateral U.S.-Japan-Philippines leaders’ summit. The forum provided a unique opportunity for the U.S. private sector to engage directly with President Marcos on the Philippines’ business environment and emphasize the importance of the business sector in the strategic partnership between both countries. The Philippine government welcomed increased collaboration and cooperation with the American private sector and companies confirmed their commitment to working closely with the Philippine government in bridging commercial gaps to realize the country’s full economic potential.  Attendees included senior officials from the Philippine government including Speaker of the House Martin Romualdez, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Finance Secretary Ralph Recto, and Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla. 

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A key announcement was the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment Luzon Economic Corridor, which will support connectivity between Subic Bay, Clark, Manila and Batangas in the Philippines.  The three countries will also accelerate coordinated investments in high-impact infrastructure projects, including rail; ports modernization; clean energy and semiconductor supply chains and deployments; and agribusiness to further connect and drive economic growth in each hub.  A trilateral event on the margins of the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) in Manila in May is being planned to promote investment in the Corridor.  

On April 19, the Council celebrated the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Indonesia diplomatic relations with a reception hosted in collaboration with the Embassy of Indonesia. The event included a business roundtable on “Forging U.S.-Indonesia Synergies for Sustainable Growth,” in which Minister Sri Mulyani stated that President Jokowi’s climate change plans will continue alongside with other major regulatory reforms such as for the green taxonomy and digital payment infrastructure. During the reception, Under Secretary of State Jose Fernandez announced that State’s Critical Minerals Action Plan that will be entering into effect this year. He encouraged the U.S. industry to take a part in realizing JETP projects in Indonesia, creating a substantive progress. This event amplified the visit of Deputy Minister Rachmat Kaimuddin to Washington the previous day, where he also engaged with members to discuss renewable energy development in Indonesia. 

Indo 75

From April 22 to 26, the US-ASEAN Business Council conducted its flagship U.S. Ambassadors' Tour in New York City and Chicago. Ambassador to Laos Heather Variava, Ambassador to Malaysia Edgard Kagan, Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson, and Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper joined the tour. This annual event highlights the dynamic economic and political ties between the U.S. and ASEAN, a key region for U.S. investments in the Indo-Pacific that outpaces our combined investments in China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Our 19 diverse engagements allowed us to reach over 300 participants in person and hundreds more online. In New York, our discussions ranged from climate change initiatives at the Newlab Innovation Center to economic strategies at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute of Columbia University. We also met with representatives from Warburg Pincus, the Asia Society, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Chubb, and New York University.  In Chicago, our itinerary included strategic discussions at S&C Electric Company, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), GE Healthcare, and academic exchanges at the University of Chicago and with the Obama Foundation. The ambassadors also met with Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and representatives from the Greater Chicago Economic Partnership (GCEP). These discussions highlighted the current state of U.S.-ASEAN relations, fostered deeper integration into global markets and advanced our collective understanding of economic diplomacy. 


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Additional April events are described below.  But we don’t plan to stop here!  In May and beyond we will continue our high-impact programming and forward-leaning advocacy efforts to help our members succeed with their efforts in this exciting and dynamic part of the world.   

Best regards, 


Month in Review

Early in the month, from April 2 to 5, the Council led a delegation of U.S. businesses to the 11th Annual Meeting of ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM) in Luang Prabang, Laos. In addition to the annual plenary session with the AFMGM, the delegation also had bilateral engagements with the Ministers, Governors, and partner institutions to discuss mutual integration and investment interests. Companies participating in the mission included Amazon Web Services, Citi, Johnson and Johnson, J.P. Morgan, Manulife Financial Corporation, Mastercard, Organon, S&P Global, and VISA.  

On April 4, the Council in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce co-hosted an Executive Luncheon Roundtable with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai and his delegation of deputy ministers from key ministries and provincial leaders in Vietnam. The roundtable provided an opportunity for many companies to follow up from the Vietnam business mission in March and reinforce their message of support for Vietnam’s growth and future collaboration. During the roundtable, U.S. businesses reiterated a commitment to expanding business in Vietnam, while the visiting delegation pledged to create more favorable policies and regulations for foreign businesses. The event was made possible by the support of Energy Capital Vietnam and Intel.  

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On April 9-10, the Council convened a delegation of member companies in Hanoi for its annual Health & Life Sciences (HLS) Industry Mission., led by Ambassador Brian McFeeters. This year’s mission came at an important time, following the signing of the historic upgrade of bilateral relations between the United States and Vietnam to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in September last year. The delegation met with the Minister of Health, Madam Dao Hong Lan; Vice Chairman of National Assembly Committee on Social Affairs; Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Social Security; leadership of the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology; and the U.S. Embassy. Ambassador Marc Knapper also stopped by to enjoy an informal happy hour with our members.  Furthering the HLS committee’s focus on Sustainable Healthcare Financing, we included a panel discussion to highlight the critical role innovative and sustainable financing mechanisms play to achieve health care goals and contribute to broader demographic resilience.  Minister Lan emphasized that U.S. businesses’ commitment and contribution have been playing an important role in strengthening the bilateral collaboration, particularly in pharmaceutical and medical devices. She also stressed the importance of US-ABC as a bridge between Vietnamese government and the U.S. private sector and welcomed policy inputs from the Council and its member companies for a better regulatory environment in Vietnam. 

On April 18, the Council welcomed Malaysia Finance Minister II, H.E. Senator Amir Hamzah Azizan, and Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour during their first official visits to the United States. During the roundtable luncheon, Minister Amir Hamzah’s remarks also highlighted some of Malaysia’s anticipation and preparations for its role as the 2025 ASEAN Chair, stating that it is time for Malaysia to “earn its place in the region and the world.” 

And finally, on April 29 the Council co-hosted a business reception commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement with the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore. The reception was held during the visit of Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong’s visit to the United States and served as a significant event marking decades of economic collaboration between the United States and Singapore. This reception provided a platform for key stakeholders from both countries, including government officials, business leaders, and industry experts, to highlight the achievements of the FTA and explore avenues for further cooperation. 

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Upcoming Events
Please find the latest version of the Council's 2024 Events Calendar here.

On May 5-7, Ambassador Osius will attend the 2024 Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles and participate in an invitation-only panel focused on global investors’ view of ASEAN.  The Council will also co-host a dinner with Delphos to bring together member companies and other leaders for an informal discussion about how to advance U.S. business interests in Southeast Asia.  

On May 7-9, the Council will lead a delegation to the annual Business Mission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Additionally, from May 13-16, the Council will conduct its first-ever Business Mission to East Malaysia to the city of Kuching in Sarawak State, breaking new ground for U.S. industries in the region. Register at bmm.usasean.org and contact Mega Valentina at mega@usasean.org for any inquiries. 

On May 8th, 2024, the Council will take center stage at the 'Doing Business with ASEAN' event hosted at the Do It Best Headquarters in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This conference, organized by the Indiana District Export Council and the U.S. Department of Commerce in partnership with the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, aims to highlight the trade opportunities for Indiana businesses in Southeast Asia. The Council's President & CEO, Amb. Ted Osius will offer insights to Indiana companies seeking to navigate the Southeast Asian markets, marking a significant commitment by the Council to strengthen U.S. economic relationships in this key region. 

On May 13-17, the Council will participate in the 17th ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSME Meeting at ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.  The Council has been invited to participate in the regular consultation session with the Director-General’s level meeting for ASEAN SME Agencies, which is part of the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSME (ACCMSME). The outcome of this meeting will be reported to the Senior Economic Officials Meeting under the mandate of the ASEAN Economic Ministers. The Council will present its SME Program report from the last meeting in October 2023 and upcoming plans throughout 2024.  

On May 20-23, the Council will lead the annual Philippines Business Mission in conjunction with other in-market events, including the USTDA-led Indo-Pacific Business Forum and the Council-led Local Government Unit Outreach. Building on the historic momentum in U.S.-Philippines relations and anchored by the first-of its-kind Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines, this year’s business mission will focus on “Promoting Economic Expansion through Collaborative and Sustainable Partnerships.” The overarching theme aims to provide a platform for mission participants to engage with Philippine government officials in the following key areas: investment opportunities, public-private partnerships, ease of doing business, and human capital development. For questions related to the 2024 Philippines Business Mission and surrounding events, please contact Angelica Ortega (aortega@usasean.org) and Angelica Takashima (atakashima@usasean.org). 

On May 21, business mission participants will also be able to participate in the 2024 Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) event in Manila.  The IPBF will bring together business leaders and government officials from throughout the region and will include an address from Philippines President Marcos Jr.  Both the Council’s mission and the IPBF will also lend themselves to engaging with stakeholders involved in the Luzon Economic Corridor project.  

On June 4-5, the Council will lead the annual Business Mission to the 33rd Meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. The Mission aims to enhance ASEAN's Customs reform to bolster regional supply chain resilience, emphasizing the simplification of procedures, coordinated border management, and digitalization to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). For additional information, please contact Marcella Suwandhi (msuwandhi@usasean.org) and Angelica Ortega (aortega@usasean.org). 

On June 5, the Council will host a policy retreat program for a group of ASEAN trade negotiators working on the development of ASEAN’s Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA). The policy retreat and subsequent technical workshops later this year are one of the Council’s special projects developed with the support of six USABC member companies.

Also in June, the Council will lead the Food & Agriculture mission to Thailand and participate in the Digital Policy Consultative Forum.  

In July, the Council will lead the ASEAN Ambassadors’ Tour in the United States, lead the Singapore Business Mission and Food & Agriculture mission to Vietnam, and participate in DEFA Workshop 1 and the SME Workshop.  

In August, the Council will lead the annual business mission to Brunei, host a 40th anniversary Gala event in Singapore, and convene its Board of Directors in Singapore.  For additional information on the Gala, please contact Sarah Lessing at slessing@usasean.org.  

Comings and Goings at the Council

We bid farewell to Membership Associate Mia Venezia as she departed to pursue new opportunities. We wish her great success in her future endeavors. 

Membership Section

We would like to remind you of the array of digital tools available to enhance your experience with the Council. Refresh your knowledge on navigating our resources with these succinct tutorials:    

Furthermore, we're excited to announce that we have implemented enhancements to the functionality and user interaction of the Business Mission Manager. To ensure you have the support you need, Luc Lloyd is our dedicated resource for assistance with mission registration and account access issues via GrowthZone. You can contact Luc at lloyd@usasean.org or our support team at access@usasean.org for immediate assistance. The IT help desk is also reachable via WhatsApp at +1 202-804-6588 for any technical inquiries. 

Looking ahead, please mark your calendars for these notable events and business missions in DC and across the region:   

  • 1 May: Roundtable Discussion with Vriens & Partners (US-ABC DC Office) 

  • 2-3 May: USTDA Expanding Aviation Data Workshop (Bali) 

  • 6 May: Dinner at the 2024 Milken Global Conference (Beverly Hilton, Los Angeles) 

  • 8 May: Doing Business with ASEAN Conference (Fort Wayne, Indiana) 

  • 7-9 May: Malaysia Business Mission (Kuala Lumpur) 

  • 13 May: ICT Committee Meeting and Briefing with DAS Steve Lang (Virtual) 

  • 14-16 May: East Malaysia Business Mission (Sabah and Sarawak) 

  • 20-23 May: Philippines Business Mission (Metro Manila)   

As always, our membership team is eager to assist you in leveraging your membership benefits to their fullest potential. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for a meeting or with any queries on how to maximize the value of your Council membership. 

Below are your points of contact from the membership team: 

In the D.C. office:    

In the Singapore and Kuala Lumpur offices:    

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to another productive month! 

Council in the Press

U.S. Representatives introduce the U.S. Trade Leadership in the Indo-Pacific Act.  U.S. Representatives Darin LaHood, Jimmy Panetta, Carol Miller, Don Beyer, Adrian Smith, and Ami Bera have introduced the U.S. Trade Leadership in the Indo-Pacific Act (USTLIPA) to address China's growing economic influence in the region. The bipartisan legislation aims to reassert America's role in trade in the Indo-Pacific and strengthen partnerships with allies to counter China's aggressive trade policies.  Ambassador Ted Osius of the US-ASEAN Business Council commended Rep. Miller's leadership in revitalizing U.S. trade policy in Asia and underlined the importance of engaging with Southeast Asian markets to strengthen America's global trade position. New York Times 

Vietnam Business News March 28/2024 - VietNamNet  

Vietnam Business News March 29/2024  

As exportações do Vietnã para os EUA aumentam em valor - Prensa Latina  

Ambassador Marc Knapper remarks at the 40 years of the US - ASEAN Business Council  

USABC Delivers Letter on Simplified Customs Procedures | U.S. Chamber of Commerce  

Vietnam: Will President's Resignation Affect Foreign Investment? - Foreign Policy 

Why the US Should Cooperate More Closely With Vietnam’s Public Security Ministry – The Diplomat 

Vietnam joins ASEAN meetings with financial, monetary partners - Vietnam Plus 

Govt ready to iron out US investors’ concerns - Khmer Times 

News 5 - tv5.com.ph 

Nhiều doanh nghiệp ASEAN muốn mở rộng tại Việt Nam - The Leader 

Special Representative Morgenthau's Travel to Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia - Department of State 

Trilateral Meeting Between Philippines, US, and Japan to Enhance Defense and Economic Cooperation - Head Topics 

Deputy PM meets US officials, businesspeople - Vietnam News 

Phó Thủ tướng Lê Minh Khái trao đổi với giới chức và doanh nghiệp Mỹ tăng cường hợp tác thúc đẩy kinh tế - Dan Viet 

Doanh nghiệp Mỹ tin tưởng môi trường đầu tư của Việt Nam, đặc biệt trong ngành bán dẫn - Báo Phụ Nữ 

Deputy PM meets US officials, businesspeople - EIN Presswire 

Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc joins ASEAN meetings - Hai Quan Online 

Le vice-PM Lê Minh Khai rencontre des responsables et hommes d'affaires américains - Le Courrier 

Chủ tịch SIA: Ngành công nghiệp bán dẫn ở Việt Nam chắc chắn sẽ thành công - Cong Thuong 

Viceprimer ministro de Vietnam se reúne con funcionarios y empresarios estadounidenses - Vietnam Plus 

Deputy Governor Pham QUang Dzung meets US-ABC - State Bank of Vietnam 

Có nên tạm hoãn việc tăng thuế tiêu thụ đặc biệt với ngành rượu, bia, đồ uống? - Cong Thuong 

Bộ Y tế và đoàn doanh nghiệp Hội đồng Kinh doanh Hoa Kỳ - ASEAN trao đổi, thúc đẩy đầu tư về y tế - Suc Khoe & Doi Song 

Vietnam ready to ride US investment wave - Vietnam Plus 

Bộ Y tế và đoàn doanh nghiệp Hội đồng Kinh doanh Hoa Kỳ - ASEAN trao đổi, thúc đẩy đầu tư về y tế - Suc Khoe Doi Song 

Thu hút FDI từ Mỹ không lúc nào thuận lợi hơn như lúc này - Báo Sài Gòn Đầu Tư Tài Chính 

Niềm tin tăng cao, vốn FDI vào Việt Nam sắp bứt tốc - Báo Công an nhân dân 

Bộ trưởng Bộ Y tế Đào Hồng Lan tiếp đoàn Doanh nghiệp Hội đồng Kinh doanh Hoa Kỳ - ASEAN - Hoạt động của lãnh đạo bộ - Cổng thông tin Bộ Y tế 

PBBM’s historic working visit to Washington for the Trilateral Leaders’ Summit ensures economic security for Filipinos - Department of Finance 

PH secures support on infra, connectivity - Malaya.com 

Marcos back in Manila from trilateral meeting in Washington - GMA News 

U.S. Chamber and U.S.-ASEAN Business Council Host Business Forum Featuring Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr - Chamber of Commerce 

Vietnam bersiap terima gelombang investasi Amerika Serikat - Antara News 

Marcos appeals for expedited reauthorization of US GSP - GMA News 

US private sector ready to invest more in PHL - BusinessWorld Online 

U.S. Trade Leadership in the Indo-Pacific Act offered by Miller, Smith, LaHood - Ripon Advance 

Evolving Dynamics: Southeast Asia Through Marc Mealy's Lens - Buzzsprout 

MK Tolak Permohonan Sengketa Pilpres 2024 Paslon 01 dan 03 - KoranMandala.com 

Sáng nay, khai mạc Diễn đàn Tương lai ASEAN lần đầu tiên tại Việt Nam (thuonghieucongluan.com.vn) 

Gaya Sri Mulyani hingga Gubernur BI Face to Face ke Pebisnis AS (cnbcindonesia.com) 

Ambassadors Discuss American Diplomacy in Southeast Asia - Asia Society 

US Congress seen approving GSP scheme revival this year - GMA News 

Tak Cuma Sri Mulyani, IMF & WB Akui Dunia Kini Menyeramkan - CNBC Indonesia 

Gan Kim Yong visits US and Canada; to mark 20th anniversary of US-Singapore FTA - Business Times 

Tận dụng cơ hội từ các “đại bàng” Mỹ - Hai Quan 

PH stands firm in forging FTA with US - Panay News 


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Corporate membership provides general advocacy support, access to all country- and industry-specific updates, and access to most Council events.

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