U.S. Businesses Engage Singapore on ASEAN Integration and New Technologies

(Singapore) A delegation of senior executives from major U.S. corporations organized by the US-ASEAN Business Council concluded a visit to Singapore today which focused on improving the business environment through both bilateral and regional initiatives, and leveraging Singapore's status as a technology hub to support research and development and maximize safe and efficient use of new sources of data. Council members and representatives of the Singapore Government also focused their discussions on opportunities to help support ASEAN's progress toward the 2015 launch of the ASEAN Economic Community.

The delegation was led by the Chair of the Council's Singapore Committee Philip Vaughn of Fluor and Council President Alexander Feldman. The mission represented the first official Council delegation to Singapore since 2007. The delegation met with senior members of the Singapore Government across a wide range of Ministries as well as U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, David Adelman, and his country team.

"As a driver of important regional initiatives like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Singapore holds an important role in the success of American trade policy on both sides of the Pacific," said Council President Alexander Feldman. "The Asia Pacific Region, in general, and Southeast Asia, in particular, are crucial markets for continued growth of American companies and the success of President Obama's National Export Strategy. We held broad discussions in Singapore about TPP, APEC and regional economic issues like the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan and the role American business could play."

Singapore hosts offices and regional headquarters for most Council members and is consistently ranked as one of the best places in the world for business in most part due to its open, transparent and efficient business environment. Singapore's well managed economy was the second fastest growing in the world in 2010, and is on pace to maintain that strong record with 5-7% growth in 2011. As the United States 10th largest trading partner, Singapore is a key partner for U.S. companies. Despite its small geographic footprint and population, U.S. exports to Singapore comprised a little over 40 percent of U.S. exports to ASEAN, which is America's 4th largest export market.

Companies participating on the delegation included Fluor, General Electric, Visa, AT&T, ConocoPhillips, IBM, MasterCard, Microsoft, Oracle, Philip Morris International, State Street Bank and Trust Company, and Time Warner.

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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.