US-ASEAN Business Council Celebrates 30 Years of Commitment to ASEAN

(Washington D.C.) The US-ASEAN Business Council celebrated its 30th anniversary today with a gala dinner event in Washington D.C. As part of the celebration, the Council honored the U.S. Government’s efforts to build the US-ASEAN relationship with the inaugural “4th Pillar Award”. U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry opened the proceedings with remarks on the U.S. government’s multifaceted engagement with ASEAN, and Assistant Secretary of State Danny Russel accepted the award.  The Secretary General of ASEAN, Le Luong Minh, and the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the World Bank, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, also spoke and offered their congratulations and vision for the future of the US-ASEAN Relationship to the audience of more than 400 leaders from the business, government, think tank, and media communities.
 
“ASEAN is a vital and dynamic region of the world,” said Evan Greenberg, the Chairman of the Council’s Board of Directors and the Chairman and CEO of ACE Group.  “ASEAN is important to the future of the U.S., both economically and geopolitically.  Equally, the U.S. is important to ASEAN, not just from a security perspective but for trade and investment. 
 
“American business brings more than money.  We bring technology, technical and management know-how, a high-standard approach to corporate governance, and an active advocacy on rules-based trading and the rule of law – all of which benefit the economic and social development of ASEAN nations. Much progress has been made over these 30 years, but our main message tonight is that our commitment is firm and we intend to build on the progress made in the past. “ 
 
“When the Council was first established ASEAN had only five member nations,” said Council President & CEO Alexander Feldman.  “Over the course of the last three decades, ASEAN has doubled the number of nations who are a part of the Association, has seen ASEAN become the number one destination in all of Asia for American foreign direct investment and has seen trade rise seven-fold.
 
“Today, the business relationship between ASEAN and the U.S. is truly two-way, with ASEAN becoming America’s fourth largest export market in the world and those exports to ASEAN supporting over a half a million U.S. jobs.   ASEAN investment in the U.S. is becoming a far greater factor as well, growing more than 1400% from 2001-2012.  The Council’s staff is now evenly divided between the U.S. and our 6 regional offices in Southeast Asia, and we represent over 140 of the greatest American companies doing business in Southeast Asia. “
 
The Council also honored Rod Hills for his long service to the council as Founder, Chairman, and Chairman Emeritus. “There is only one individual who stood out as being as active and committed today as he was 30 years ago when he helped found the Council,” said Russell King of Freeport McMoRan. “In 1985, Rod became the first Chairman of the US-ASEAN Business Council, and has helped find and shepherd every subsequent Chairman through the role. He has been a particular friend and mentor to me and many others.  His passion for business and for Southeast Asia is unquestioned.”
 
The Council also gave each guest a copy of ASEAN Matters for America, a joint project with the East West Center and the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, which examines ASEAN’s economic impact on the United States down to the District Level. You can find out more about the project here.
 
The evening’s sponsors include ACE, ConocoPhillips, Covidien, UL, Chevron, CV Starr, ExxonMobil, GM, MetLife, Motorola Solutions, Phillip Morris International, PwC, AIG, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company, Dow, FedEx, Freeport McMoRan, Proctor & Gamble, Standard & Poor’s, Visa, 3M, Baker & McKenzie, Ford, GSK, Guardian, and The Hills Companies.
 

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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.