Myanmar President Thein Sein becomes the first leader of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, to visit the White House in 47 years on Monday. Their meeting is viewed as an affirmation of the Southeast Asian nation's democratic transition.
The last White House visit was by the late Burmese dictator Ne Win in 1966 during the Vietnam War.
Thein Sein's visit comes after President Barack Obama traveled to Myanmar in November, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so, in a further sign of warming relations. "We've reached a point in our relationship where (Thein Sein) is received in Washington. That's a big deal," said Priscilla Clapp, who headed the U.S. Embassy in Burma between 1999 and 2002.
A statement from the White House referred to the country as "Myanmar" -- the current government's preference -- rather than Burma, and described U.S. support:
KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 (Bernama) -- The US-Asean Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce have described Myanmar President U Thein Sein's visit to the US as historic, which has marked a "true turning point in US-Myanmar relations." The US-Asean Business Council's President, Alexander Feldman, in welcoming the president to Washington, said the US business community is firmly committed to continuing its support for Myanmar's re-engagement with the global community.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is encouraging US investors to invest more in Thailand, convinced that the geographical location and infrastructure projects will enhance the country's economic fundamentals. To Alexander C. Feldman, chairman of US-Asean Business Council (USABC) who paid her a courtesy visit on Wednesday, Yingluck said that the Thai government is committed to infrastructure investment and research and development to achieve the knowledged-based and green economy. She also hoped for the transfers of US expertise and technology in energy.
A delegation of representatives from top US financial institutions led by the co-chairmen of the US-Asean Business Council's financial services working group, Michael Zink, Asean chief executive of Citi, and Juan Andrade, chief operating officer of ACE Overseas General, has offered its support for Asean integration. They participated in the annual Asean Finance Ministers Meeting (AFMM) in Brunei that concluded on Thursday. Companies participating in the delegation included ACE, Citi, General Electric, MasterCard, Moody's, PayPal, Standard & Poor's, State Street and Visa.
A delegation of leading US financial institutions organised by the US-Asean Business Council offered its support for Asean as a global asset class and regional financial inclusion efforts.They participated in the annual Asean Finance Ministers Meeting which concluded today. "The Council deeply values our annual participation in the AFMM, one of Asia’s most important regional economic meetings," said Michael Zink of Citi.
WASHINGTON — In response to China’s growing economic influence in the region, the United States should pursue a more active trade agenda in South-east Asia, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday. Speaking at a dinner hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce and US-ASEAN Business Council— which was attended by about 300 guests — Mr Lee said: “Over the last decade, China has become the top trading partner of almost all South-east Asian nations, including US allies such as the Philippines and Thailand.”
Washington: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unequivocally assured top corporate leaders in America that Singapore remains open for business and will help companies to succeed. While Singapore is undergoing a challenging phase of economic restructuring and will grow more slowly, he promised them that Singapore will continue to welcome foreign talent and investments to its shores.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Singapore's prime minister warned that miscalculations in Asia could set back the fast-growing region for years as President Barack Obama hailed the city-state for military cooperation. On a visit to Washington, Lee Hsien Loong said that the United States had "fundamental interests" in freedom of navigation and stability in a region where China's disputes with neighbors have intensified.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for the U.S. and China to build a greater degree of “strategic trust in each other,” in a Tuesday speech hosted by the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council in Washington, D.C. “China’s development represents a major shift in the balance of power,” Lee said. “China and the U.S. have to strengthen mutual confidence, in order to manage this shift in the global balance wisely and prudently.”
IN the effort to diversify the country’s economy away from its dependence on oil and gas, one of the ideas pitched is to develop Brunei Darussalam as a data centre.
The idea that came from the Brunei government was revealed yesterday by Alexander C Feldman, the President of US-Asean Business Council, which is on a business mission to Brunei Darussalam, in a press conference.
He is leading 30 representatives of 11 well-known US companies in looking for opportunities to work with the Brunei government. The companies include Black and Veatch, Citi, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Forbes Asia, GE, Google, Merck, Moody’s and Visa.