Business Missions' Corporate Citizenship Packet

Started in 2010, the US-ASEAN Business Council compiled its Corporate Citizenship Briefing Packet, representing the different programs and contributions made by our member companies in Indonesia. This packet accompanied our delegation on our Business Mission to Indonesia, and was presented to 8 Cabinet Ministers as well as senior government officials. The Corporate Citizenship packet is intended to highlight our members’ initiatives and programs and how they enrich the communities in which they operate. The US-ASEAN Business Council is proud of the great work our members continue to do not only in Indonesia, but throughout all of ASEAN.

Indonesian officials were deeply appreciative of the information contained in the Corporate Citizenship Briefing Packet, and it has now been requested by a number of U.S. officials including Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Scot Marciel. We look forward to continue compiling and providing Corporate Citizenship Briefing Packets on all Council Missions. 

Click here to download the Packet.

Restoration of the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue, Yangon, Myanmar

The US-ASEAN Council for Business and Technology, the US-ASEAN Business Council's 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, has recently obtained a license from the United States Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to raise funds for the maintenance and restoration of the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue in Yangon, Myanmar.

This is an exciting project for the Council not only because it is the first OFAC approved license for the purpose of providing assistance to a humanitarian project that we have received but also because the history of this Synagogue is so mesmerizing.

Yangon was once a thriving Jewish community consisting primarily of Jews from Cochin, Calcutta, Iraq and Iran. The Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue was built in 1893-1896 as a result of the growing Jewish population, which, at its peak was about 2500. During World War II, and in the years following, most of the Jews in Burma migrated to other countries. The Burmese government's nationalization of businesses in 1969 contributed greatly to this migration.

Now, there are only a small handful of Jewish people in the country and, as a result, the Synagogue, the only one in existence all of Myanmar, is in desperate need of restoration. Without restoration and maintenance, this unique piece of history will be lost. With the obtaining of the OFAC license, the Council plans to achieve a number of things:

  • raise funds for the Synagogue's monthly expenses consisting of utilities, salaries for workers, and various miscellaneous expenses
  • raise funds in order to complete restoration and necessary maintenance of the Synagogue
  • raise funds to assist the Synagogue in the purchase of a new cemetery

Under US law, the exportation of financial services to Myanmar is prohibited. There are limited exceptions and the US-ASEAN Council for Business and Technology has qualified for an exception. Monitoring of funds will be conducted by a trustee of the Synagogue as well as an American attorney living in Yangon. The attorney will independently verify the proper use of the funds.

For more information about donating to the project, please contact Frances Zwenig at 202-416-6721 or fzwenig@usasean.org. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, the check should me made out to "US-ASEAN Council for Business and Technology" with "Synagogue Fund" in the subject line and send your check to our address at 1101 17th St, NW Ste 411, Washington, DC 20036.

Anti-Corruption Project in Indonesia

Through KPK, the Indonesia Corruption Irradiation Commission, the US-ASEAN Business Council conducted a survey on anti-corruption in Indonesia. As a result of those findings, the Council worked with CSIS to organize a workshop in Jakarta in the Spring of 2008. This workshop addressed anti-corruption in Indonesia and will bring together experts in this field from all over the world.

Financial Literacy Project

Generously funded by AIG, a study was done in 2007 on the financial literacy of overseas Filipino Workers (OPW). This study, conducted through the Overseas Worker Welfare Administration, explored the level of financial literacy among Filipinos that are currently working abroad, mainly in the region. We hope to use the results of this study to improve education for those Filipinos working outside the country in order to assist them in making strong personal financial decisions. It is the opinion of the Council that to teach individuals to plan for the future is a positive step for the global economy.