U.S. Businesses Support ASEAN Financial Markets

(Nha Trang) A US-ASEAN Business Council delegation of executives from leading U.S. financial firms met today with the ASEAN Finance Ministers in Nha Trang, Vietnam. The delegates engaged the Ministers to further strengthen cooperation in the region and also discuss opportunities for U.S. investment in ASEAN’s infrastructure. The delegation was led by Council President Alexander Feldman and Dave Wolf, President, ACE Life, and Chairman of the Council’s Financial Services Working Group.

ASEAN’s infrastructure needs are a major priority for governments throughout Southeast Asia. The funding requirements exceed government budgets. “Infrastructure needs represent an opportunity for American business and Southeast Asia to work together to find mutually beneficial solutions,” said Council President Alexander Feldman. “The Council takes its corporate citizenship seriously and we are working to partner with the ASEAN Secretariat and the Ministries of Finance to create a conducive environment that can help channel capital flows toward investment opportunities in the region, including infrastructure projects. Promoting enhanced uniformity and predictability in legal rules around secured lending and cross-border investment can greatly stimulate capital flows and liquidity throughout Southeast Asia.”

“More broadly, US companies are looking to develop and promote their core businesses within ASEAN. We are looking for opportunities to further access markets and compete on a level playing field. In doing so, additional investments will be made, jobs created, and important products and services will be offered to the ASEAN people. We look to play an important role in ASEAN reaching their goals of 2015,“ said Dave Wolf, President of ACE Life and Chairman of the Council’s Financial Services Working Group.

The Council is the only U.S. based business organization to be recognized in the ASEAN Charter. The Council and its members support the continuing development of ASEAN’s financial regulatory system and the important role played by international financial services companies.

In addition to meeting with the ASEAN Finance Ministers, Council delegates held bilateral meetings with the Ministers of Finance from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam as well as the Chairman of the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum. In these meetings, Council delegates discussed country-specific issues, as well as regional priorities such as the continuing development of regional equity and bond markets.

Council member companies participating in the Mission included: ACE Group, C.V. Starr Investment Advisors, Citi, Deloitte, Fenway Partners, General Electric and Standard & Poor’s.

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For over 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.