I hope you enjoyed your holidays with family and friends and that your 2019 is off to a strong start. As many of you may know, 2019 is a special year for the Council as we celebrate our 35th anniversary.
I hope you are enjoying the holidays and getting some down time with family and friends. I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the Council and our staff to wish each and everyone a very Happy New Year. May 2019 be a year full of good health, happiness and prosperity for you, your family and your organization.
It’s hard to believe that we are already near the end of the year. The last 30 days have not seen any slowdown in Southeast Asia and the Council continues to keep pace.
Cyber Security and privacy legislation continues to evolve in ASEAN (please see ICT section for more information). Earlier this month at the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit in Singapore, the 10 nations of ASEAN agreed to their first digital economy agreement when they signed the ASEAN eCommerce Agreement. Ambassador Michael Michalak and I attended the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summits, and I was honored to speak on a panel regarding the role that the Council plays in helping ASEAN achieve its goals. I was joined on the panel by the Ministers of Trade from New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
President’s Newsletter – October 2018
Greetings from Washington. Fall has arrived in the nation’s capital and with it the cool weather.
The change in seasons, however, has not deterred Washington from keeping its focus on ASEAN. Both Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin and Secretary of Defense Mattis have traveled to the region in the last two weeks. Secretary Mnuchin attended the World Bank-IMF Fall Meetings in Bali, Indonesia while Secretary Mattis visited Vietnam on his way to the ASEAN Ministers of Defense Meeting Plus in Singapore. This continued engagement is a clear indication of the Trump Administration’s commitment to ASEAN Centrality and the IndoPacific Policy.
President’s Newsletter – SEPTEMBER 2018
Greetings from Washington, DC after a very busy month of September.
Before I begin, I want to offer my deepest condolences to the government and people of Vietnam on the sudden passing of Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang. We were looking forward to hosting President Quang for a dinner this past week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York to discuss ways to strengthen the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership. Vietnam has made much progress and the Vietnamese economy prospered under the leadership of President Quang and Prime Minister Phuc. President Quang’s passing at this critical juncture will be felt and the Council stands with our friends in Vietnam at this time.
Greetings from Vientiane where we just wrapped up Day One of our annual Business Mission to Laos. Earlier this week, we also completed our annual Business Mission to Singapore.
In Singapore, our Business Mission gave us a chance to meet with the fourth generation Ministerial leadership. During the course of the year and through our most recent business mission, we have now been able to meet with the three Ministers who are in the running to become Singapore’s next Prime Minister, including H.E. Heng Swee Keat, H.E. Ong Ye Kung and H.E. Chan Chun Sing. Each was impressive in his own right, and I am confident that Singapore will be in good hands no matter which of these Ministers ultimately succeeds Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sometime in the coming years.
President’s Newsletter – July 2018
Greetings from Philadelphia, where I am traveling with senior diplomats from ASEAN Embassies as part of our Annual ASEAN Ambassadors’ Tour. It has been an exciting month in Southeast Asia and at the US-ASEAN Business Council.
To all those who celebrated, I hope you had a happy Eid!
Greetings from Washington as I prepare to head out to Bangkok this weekend for our 2018 Thailand Business Mission and our meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. This visit to the region will also see short stops in Singapore and Jakarta before returning to the USA.
We have a busy few weeks starting next week including visits to Washington by Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue and Indonesia’s Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan. We hope you and your colleagues will be able to join us for these events and others highlighted below in our looking ahead section.