Washington Celebrates ASEAN's 40th Anniversary

(Washington, DC) Asia Society Washington Center and the US-ASEAN Business Council celebrate the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)'s 40th anniversary with a gala dinner in Washington, featuring Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez delivering the welcome remarks and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore delivering the keynote address. The dinner will be attended by 300 people from the government, diplomatic, think-tank, and media communities.

"ASEAN is vital for the United States, both economically and politically. Many people do not realize that ASEAN is the third largest overseas market for US exports, surpassing China. Trade between US and ASEAN reached $169 billion in 2006 and the region hosts more than $80 billion of US direct investment," said Matthew Daley, President of the US-ASEAN Business Council.

Joseph Snyder, Executive Director of the Asia Society Washington Center, noted that "ASEAN has been a major force for stability, peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia for the last 40 years, and we are proud to help celebrate that remarkable record."

Prime Minister Lee is scheduled to meet with President George W. Bush at the White House on Friday.

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For 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.