On 1-10 September 2020, the Council led a delegation of 25 companies in a virtual business mission to the Philippines and engaged key Philippine government officials on key interests and priorities. US-ABC Chairman, President & CEO Alexander Feldman highlighted that the delegation’s size and multisectoral composition highlight the continued importance of the Philippines as a market for U.S. companies despite COVID-19 challenges. “We believe the Philippines’ strong macroeconomic fundamentals will bolster the country’s efforts to address COVID-19 health challenges and safely reopen more economic activities,” said Mr. Feldman.
The US-ASEAN Business Council led its 21st consecutive delegation to the 52nd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM), beginning with a consultative plenary session with all ten ASEAN Economic Ministers Co- Chaired by Vietnam Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, and the U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. Over the next two weeks, US-ABC delegates will hold a series of bilateral meetings with heads of delegation from ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, U.S. Government officials from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), and the U.S. Mission to ASEAN.
(Jakarta) – The US-ASEAN Business Council conducted its Indonesia Digital Economy Virtual Meeting Series from July 27 to August 25, 2020. The virtual meeting series demonstrated the commitment of the U.S. technology business industry in supporting the Indonesian government’s efforts to support the digital economy. The virtual meeting series reinforces US-ABC’s ongoing advocacy efforts with the Government of Indonesia to ensure a dynamic, competitive, efficient, and fair digital economy system.
The US-ABC delegation included twenty leading American technology companies lead by US-ABC Chairman, President, and CEO, Alexander C. Feldman, US-ABC Senior Vice President & Regional Managing Director, Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, the Chair of US-ABC’s Indonesia Committee and Chief Executive Officer for Citi Indonesia, Batara Sianturi, and the Chair of US-ABC’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Committee and President for Cisco Systems in ASEAN, Naveen Menon.
Singapore - The US-ASEAN Business Council joined the 29th Meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs for a virtual discussion on August 19. The meeting is part of 23-year long engagement between the Council and the 10 ASEAN Directors-General of Customs that has examined ways to improve trade connections in Southeast Asia. The Council’s delegation of four top U.S. companies is led by Senior Vice-President and Regional Managing Director of the Council, Amb. Michael Michalak, as well as Chair of the Council’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee and Vice President of Public Affairs for UPS, Shiumei Lin.
On August 11, the US-ASEAN Business Council, with the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises, and the Indonesian Employers’ Association (APINDO), conducted a webinar for Indonesian SMEs on digital payments. The event was part of a broader webinar series in response to the COVID-19 crisis. More than 200 owners and executives of Indonesian SMEs participated in the webinar on “Promoting Secure Digital Payments for Indonesian SMEs.”
The webinar was officially opened by Ambassador Michael Michalak, SVP and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council, along with Mr. Navin Jain, Country Manager, Mastercard Indonesia.
(Thailand) – On July 10, the US-ASEAN Business Council with the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP) Thailand and the Thammasat Business School conducted a webinar for Thailand SMEs. The event was part of a broader webinar series in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Around 100 owners and executives of Thailand SMEs participated in the webinar session titled “Enhancing Digital Skills from Thailand SMEs in COVID-19.”
(YANGON, MYANMAR) - The US Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Council for Myanmar announced the appointment of Gretchen Kunze last week as its new Executive Director. An international development specialist, Kunze has held regional and country director positions for over 12 years, including working in Myanmar as the Country Director of Cardno Emerging Markets and Country Representative of World Learning.
(Washington, DC) - The US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) today hosted a Senior Leaders Forum on U.S.-ASEAN Health Cooperation. This virtual forum was a private sector response to three events: (1) the ASEAN-United States High-level Interagency Video conference on Cooperation to Counter COVID-19 that took place on March 31, 2020; (2) the meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and the ASEAN Foreign Minsters that took place on April 22, 2020 during which the US-ASEAN Health Futures Initiative was launched; and (3) the meeting between U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and ASEAN Health Ministers that took place on April 30, 2020.