US-ASEAN Business Council, East-West Center, and ISEAS launch ASEAN Matters for America Third Edition

Washington D.C. – The Association Of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) Matter to America - The US-ASEAN Business Council, the East-West Center, and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) launch third edition of ASEAN Matters for America publication and online tool today on Capitol Hill.

ASEAN Matters for America outlines the essential role ASEAN plays in American political, security and economic prosperity.  ASEAN is by far the largest destination in Asia for U.S. investment and the fourth largest export market globally for American products.  Of total American exports, more than $10 billion were in the agriculture sector, making ASEAN the 6th largest U.S export market in the world for American agriculture.  Additionally, ASEAN’s digital economy is the world’s fastest growing internet region, with online spending projected to rise 6.5 times to $200 billion by 2025.

"For over 30 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been at the forefront of advocating for American engagement with ASEAN and highlighting the strategic importance of this critical relationship, particularly in fast-growing trade, economic and commercial ties. The numbers speak for themselves,” said Alexander Feldman, President & CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council. “The U.S. received $26 billion in foreign direct investment from ASEAN in 2015, which is more than China and India have invested in the United States combined.  And ASEAN received almost $274 billion in cumulative investment from U.S. corporations, which is more than American companies invested in China, India, Japan, and South Korea combined.  The fact that ASEAN is the fourth largest, global export market for American goods is no accident and is a direct reflection of the significant investments that U.S. companies have made in ASEAN. These exports directly support over a half a million American jobs clearly demonstrating that ASEAN Matters to America.”

“The Asia Matters for America series draws attention to the essential role that Asia and ASEAN plays in U.S. growth and prosperity,” said Satu Limaye, Washington D.C. Director of the East-West Center. “This is the only online and printed resource that maps the crucial importance of the US-Southeast Asia relationship at the national, state, and local levels.”

The project can be accessed at www.aseanmattersforamerica.org. It collects in one place key statistics, news, infographics and analysis about the vital role ASEAN plays in America’s economic prosperity, and provides data down to the state and congressional district levels on trade and jobs connected to Southeast Asia.  

The official launch of ASEAN matters for America was held at the Capitol Visitor’s Center on Capitol Hill, and featured remarks from Congressman Jaoquin Castro, Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on ASEAN; Congressman Denny Heck, Co-Chair of the Congressional Singapore Caucus; Congressman Bradley Byrne, Co-Chair of the Congressional Singapore Caucus;  Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, member of the Congressional Singapore Caucus; H.E. Budi Bowoleksono, Indonesian Ambassador to the United States; H.E. Ashok Mirpuri, Singaporean Ambassador to the United States; and Mr. Patrick Chuasoto, Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines to the United States.

The event also included a panel and discussion featuring The Hon. Patricia Mahoney, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Southeast Asia at the U.S. Department of State; Lt. Gen. Wallace “Chip” Gregson, Jr (Ret.), former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense; Alexander Feldman, President & CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council; and Satu Limaye, Director of the East-West Center in Washington.

ASEAN is the fifth largest economy in the world, following the United States, China, Japan, and the EU.  It holds a key geo-strategic role as the crossroads of global trade, as it sits between China and India, and is surrounded by some of the world’s most vital sea lanes.  ASEAN is home to the world’s third largest labor force.

The ASEAN Matters for America Project is a joint effort of the US-ASEAN Business Council (Washington, DC), the East-West Center (Honolulu, Hawaii) and ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute (Singapore), and was made possible by the generous support of Coca-Cola, Google, Chevron, Chubb, ExxonMobil, UL, ADM, Citi, GSK, TimeWarner, UPS and Visa.

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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.