WASHINGTON - A key priority for the United States is "rebalancing" trade relations with Asean countries - but Washington prefers bilateral to collective agreements, said Ambassador Jeffrey T. Gerrish, Deputy US Trade Representative for Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Industrial Competitiveness.
In his first public comments since his appointment in March, Mr Gerrish, a former trade attorney, said: "The United States does a lot for Asean in terms of market access. We need Asean to do more for us.
"Whether they relate to agricultural imports in Thailand, or vehicle barriers in Vietnam, localisation requirements in Indonesia, or emerging barriers to electronic payment services in several countries, we will work with our Asean partners to address and resolve these issues successfully and to our mutual benefit."
WASHINGTON DC — [Editor’s Note: VOA Khmer reporter Men Kimseng interviewed Marc Mealy, vice president for policy at the US-ASEAN Business Council, on the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 40th anniversary of the establishment of US-ASEAN relations. The Council, based in Washington, D.C., is a trade association that promotes business links between the US and the 10 countries that make up the ASEAN bloc.]
VOA: This year is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN. How is the region doing in terms of trade and regional security?
TRADE and Industry secretary Ramon Lopez wants small business owners to shift to digital in order to reach a global audience.
Lopez gave this advice to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) during the “Empowering Philippine SMEs with Digital Tools and Mentorship Opportunities” workshop on June 27 at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).
The workshop was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the US-ASEAN Business Council in celebration of the International Day for MSMEs. The whole-day event featured trainings from Cisco, FedEx, HP, and Procter & Gamble.
“We need to create a nation of smarter, tech-savvy entrepreneurs,” said Secretary Lopez to address the disparity between the number of MSMEs and their contribution to the economy.
As Asia’s economy continues to improve on the strength of the region’s stability, the China-led Belt and Road Initiative will promote greater regional communication and cooperation for win-win outcomes.
This was the underlying message at a China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable hosted in Singapore on April 28. Panelists shared their views on how member states in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can benefit from the initiative through further cooperation. The theme of the session was The Asian Century and the Belt and Road Initiative: Where Do We Go From Here?
Asia is now the world’s center of gravity, said Wiryono Sastrohandoyo, senior fellow of the Jakarta-based think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Wiryono, the session’s moderator, admitted that the region used to experience GDP growth that was below expectations. Nevertheless, he believes it will be the center of economic expansion in the 21st century.
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati took part in an ASEAN meeting on April 3 to April 6, 2018 in Singapore. The meeting was attended by all Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of ASEAN countries.
"We discussed the ASEAN achievement in the implementation of the Asean Economic Community 2025 blueprint," Sri said on her Instagram account on Friday, April 6, 2018.
Sri Mulyani said that all ASEAN countries are committed to improving synergies and fostering economic integrity in preparation to face global economic competition and challenges.
In the meeting, Sri Mulyani also told her experience as a speaker in the World Bank Infrastructure Finance Summit.
"It provides an opportunity for me to share my experience about development in Indonesia, which is actively building infrastructure," Sri said.
Finance ministers from the ASEAN member states are gathered at a “time of optimism” for their meeting this year and under Singapore’s chairmanship, the themes of sustaining growth, boosting resilience and fostering innovation will be in focus, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Friday (Apr 6).
However, he cautioned the region not to take this positive outlook for granted given looming headwinds, such as trade tensions.
Southeast Asia’s finance ministers are gathered in Singapore this week for the 4th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors' meetings from Apr 3 to 6. Singapore is the ASEAN chair this year.
In his opening remarks for the 22nd ASEAN Finance Ministers’ meeting, Mr Heng said he and his counterparts are meeting “at a time of optimism for the regional economies”.
FINANCE Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and finance ministers from across the Asean will be meeting with investors in Singapore to find ways of mobilizing private capital for infrastructure development in the region.
The Asean is the sixth-largest economy and collectively the third-largest in Asia, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).
Dominguez took part in the 8th World Bank-Singapore Infrastructure Summit ahead of the Asean Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Joint Meetings that started on Thursday.
Chaired this year by Singapore, the 2018 Asean Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ and Related Meetings on April 5 and April 6 will focus discussions on enhancing the region’s resilience to natural disasters, as well as cybersecurity risks.
US businesses hope to maximize a possible Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Washington and Manila by pushing for seamless digital channels for trade, a member of the US-ASEAN Business Council said.
“What we would be looking for mainly is a free and open digital world economy,” Michael W. Michalak, Senior Vice-President and Regional Managing Director of the Council, told BusinessWorld in an interview, when asked about its members’ wish list in an FTA.
“We heard from just about every Cabinet official how every department is looking to become more digital, to use the Internet better. Nobody is satisfied with your current Internet,” Mr. Michalak said, recalling his dialogue with the country’s top economic managers during the group’s Philippine Business Mission in early March.
He added that the group remains hopeful for a third player to enter the telecommunications industry to improve on Internet services on offer.
From Japan’s electronics to Australia’s iron ore, the Asia-Pacific region’s economies depend on selling parts and materials to feed China’s export machine.
That is why the prospect of a deepening U.S.-China trade conflict has these nations worried about getting caught in the crossfire—even if some of them have sympathy for President Donald Trump’s criticism of China.
“It’s not just the combatants themselves who suffer damage, it’s the other countries too,” said Shujiro Urata, a professor of economics at Tokyo’s Waseda University and former World Bank economist.
Stocks have been gyrating on trade news, with Japan’s benchmark index rising 2.65% Tuesday on signs that the worst scenario of a trade war might be avoided. Chinese and American officials have quietly started negotiating on ways to improve U.S. access to Chinese marketsand reduce the trade deficit.
During a reception in Hanoi on March 28 for a delegation of the US – ASEAN Business Council (USABC) led by its President Alexander Feldman, the PM spoke highly of the contributions of the US, including its business community, to the success of the APEC Year 2017 and particularly the APEC CEO Summit.
He said the government advocates building policies in service of businesses and people so that attention is given to regular, transparent and open consultation with business community, including foreign-invested enterprises, towards refining policies and improving enforcement.