To those uninitiated in the lingo of global trade, ASEAN might look like a capitalized misspelling of “Asian.”
But in reality, it represents an economically vibrant bloc in that very region that is home to nearly a tenth of the global population, some 625 million people.
And according to a new report, U.S. trade with these 10 countries on the other side of the world resonates significantly back here at home.
For Georgia, goods and services exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations total $3.3 billion, making the state a leader in the Southeast U.S., even eclipsing Florida by this metric. That results in 19,500 jobs with the state, according to the US-ASEAN Business Council, which counts among its members influential Atlanta companies like Coca-Cola Co. and United Parcel Service Inc.Both covet access to the region’s fast-growing populations and rising middle class.
Georgia farms also benefit from these trends. With $564 million in products like chicken and pecans sold, the state is the No. 4 exporter of agricultural products to the bloc, behind California, Washingtonand Illinois.
The flows go both ways, too. Georgia ranked No. 9 state in terms of ASEAN visitor spending, at $129 million. Some of that money no doubt came from family members coming to spend time with the 756 students of ASEAN origin or the 120,924 Georgians who identify as having ethnic heritage from one of the ASEAN nations.
One list where Georgia has no presence: ASEAN sister cities.
The full 10 member nations and their (populations):
Brunei Darussalam (423,000)
Cambodia (15.6 million)
Indonesia (257.6 million)
Laos (6.8 million)
Malaysia (30.3 million)
Myanmar (53.9 million)
Philippines (100.7 million)
Singapore (5.54 million)
Thailand (68 million)
Vietnam (91.7 million)
See the full report, produced by the East West Institute, the US-ASEAN Business Council and the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute on Asia Matters for America’s website at http://asiamattersforamerica.org/asean.