(Jakarta, Indonesia) — The US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) hosted an executive breakfast, "Forging A Stronger Future: 46 Years of US-ASEAN Partnership," on September 5, 2023, alongside the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum (AIPF). The breakfast was attended by over 100 guests from the U.S. and ASEAN business communities, senior government representatives, and key stakeholders from across the Indo-Pacific.
Guests of honor included Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Expert Staff for Social, Economy, and Culture, Ministry of Communications and Informatics Mr. Wijaya Kusumawardhana, Ambassador of the United States to ASEAN Yohannes Abraham, Ambassador of Japan to Indonesia Kenji Kansugi, and Director of Energy Conservation Dr. GigihUdi Utomo.
US-ABC Chief Policy Officer and Senior Vice President Marc Mealy, and CEO of Citi Indonesia and US-ABC Indonesia Committee Chair Batara Sianturi, opened the breakfast by highlighting the importance of strengthening US-ASEAN relations to realize an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific. "Today's gathering embodies our enduring partnership. As we share, learn, and discuss today, I hope that we not only reflect on our shared past and achievements under Indonesia's ASEAN Chairmanship but also move forward with fresh insights, new ideas, and a renewed commitment to mutual, sustainable, and digital innovation-led growth as Lao PDR takes over the Chairmanship," said Marc Mealy.
Qualcomm's Senior Director of Government Affairs for Southeast Asia, Ms. Nies Purwati, welcomed the breakfast as a much-needed forum to strengthen US-ASEAN digital inclusion and connectivity cooperation. During the session, Ambassador YohannesAbraham highlighted the progressive 46 years of US-ASEAN cooperation and potential cooperation areas such as digitalization and green transition.
The Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani, explained the dynamic development of sustainable and green finance and the government's efforts to take full advantage of these new opportunities. This was followed by remarks from Mr. Wijaya Kusumawardhana, Expert Staff for Social, Economy, and Culture of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Director of Energy Conservation of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Dr. Gigih Atmo, and Senior Economist of IFG Dr. Ibrahim Khoilul Rahman on sustainable development, digital connectivity, and international partnerships.
For the past 46 years, the United States and ASEAN have continued to prosper amid the adverse effects of geopolitical turbulence and the global pandemic. During the breakfast, ASEAN leaders and the American business community felt a strong camaraderie, setting the tone for continued commercial and political relationships between the two economies for the years to come.