SINGAPORE — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is in Singapore for regional summits during which he will highlight the Trump administration’s commitment to keeping the Indo-Pacific region free and open, but where leaders will be watching closely what he will actually offer, both on security as well as trade and investment.
Fulfilling a 'Free and Open Indo-Pacific'
In a briefing to reporters, a senior administration official said the vice president’s visit to the region will unveil “concrete, substantive initiatives” to fulfill the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” strategy outlined by President Donald Trump in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, last year.
The strategy focuses on achieving free markets and freedom of navigation in the region, and replaces the Obama-era “pivot to Asia,” a strategic “re-balancing” of U.S. interests from Europe and the Middle East.
(Singapore) – On October 30-31, a delegation of six major U.S. energy companies participated in the US-ASEAN Business Council’s business mission to the 36th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) and Associated Meetings in Singapore. It was the eighth business mission that the Council has led to AMEM, which brings together delegations from the Energy Ministries of all ten ASEAN countries, as well as the countries that participate in the AMEM+3 and the East Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting (EAS EMM). Enhancing resiliency and connectivity in the energy sector were major themes of this year’s AMEM. The Council’s business mission echoed these themes. The delegation discussed with ASEAN energy officials how the build-out of energy infrastructure, especially infrastructure related to liquified natural gas (LNG) and renewable energy sources, could increase energy security and connectivity.
NEW YORK, Sept 27 — A dozen US corporations have expressed interest in increasing their investments in Malaysia, following a meeting with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad here yesterday.
Former US-Asean Business Council founder Ernest Z. Bower told Malaysian reporters covering Dr Mahathir’s visit here that the intention is to make the US among the top two foreign investors in Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir led a delegation of 12 companies in a roundtable meeting with the prime minister discussing the opportunities in Malaysia as well as the changes of policies in his new government.
Bower did not elaborate on the investments, but said it would be in the finance and manufacturing sectors.
Companies that were represented at the roundtable include Coca-Cola, Merck, Eastman Chemical Company, Western Union and FedEx.
NEW YORK: His views on New Malaysia and world affairs were much sought after by those who met up with the world’s oldest premier.
However, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s political comeback was what impressed most of the influence-shapers, including world and business leaders, who attended the meetings and dialogue sessions, featuring the Malaysian Prime Minister.
Former Australian premier Kevin Rudd (pic), for example, bestowed Dr Mahathir with the title of “patron saint of political comebacks”.
Rudd, who chaired a dialogue session with Dr Mahathir at the Asia Society here, called the 93-year-old serving his second stint as Prime Minister, Malaysia’s new old and old new leader.
“Its a remarkable achievement and those of us in this region watched it very closely,” said Rudd.
The US-Asean Business Council wants more long-term economic ties with Cambodia, with American investors showing keen interest in the agriculture sector.
The comments were made yesterday during a meeting at the Peace Palace between Prime Minister Hun Sen and Michael Walter Michalak, the council’s senior vice president and regional managing director.
Eang Sophalleth, an assistant to Mr Hun Sen, told reporters the meeting focused on economic ties in the energy, infrastructure, human resources, cultural and agriculture sectors.
“Mr Michalak said that his council aims to promote long-term economic relationships with Cambodia,” he said, adding that the visit aimed to seek areas of mutual interest to Cambodian and US investors.
Mr Sophalleth noted that US Ambassador William Heidt also attended the meeting and told Mr Hun Sen that there are around six to ten US firms which showed interest in the agricultural sector in Cambodia.
US-ASEAN Business Council President Alexander Feldman wants Cambodia and the US to maintain and improve their relationship.
Mr Alexander spoke with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday, Sept.28, on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly in New York.
He wishes that the relationship between the US and Cambodia improve, and is confident about it because W. Patrick Murphy has been appointed ambassador to Cambodia. He was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia and therefore has clear knowledge of the prevailing conditions.
The premier responded by pointing out that Cambodia wants to remain on amicable terms with the US, and that he has always urged for the maintenance of a healthy relationship between both countries and agrees with those US businessmen who seek improvements in said rapport.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday said that Cambodia will allow the United States to continue searching for the remains of American soldiers killed in the Vietnam War if the US lifts its visa restrictions on high-ranking government officials.
Mr Hun Sen made the suggestion during a sideline meeting with Alexander Feldman, US-Asean Business Council president, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“If the United States lifts their visa restrictions, then the search for missing American soldiers will continue,” he said. “Cambodia wants to become good friends with the US. I want to see the relationship between the two countries improve in the future.”
The US last year began issuing travel bans on high-ranking government officials after the arrest of former opposition leader Kem Sokha on treason charges for allegedly colluding with the US to topple the government and following the dissolution of the former opposition CNRP in November.
DISRUPTIVE technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and drones have been helping United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) in how it operates in the logistics industry, which itself is prone to disruptions.
UPS has relied on technology to stay ahead, the logistics company said on Tuesday during the inaugural Innovation Series, a platform organized by the US-ASEAN Business Council, the Makati Business Club and Manila House.
Chris Buono, managing director of UPS Philippines, said as a high-asset, fragmented and competitive industry, logistics has a great potential for disruption.
“Resource usage, growing congestion, urbanization, along with greater advances in technology, customer demand, inefficiency and new developments in materials engineering have really pushed logistics and supply chain management into a state where companies have to innovate to stay ahead of the competition,” he said.