WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump met with Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Tuesday, a meeting that the White House did not include on the president’s public schedule and did not provide comments on.
White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, along with Adam Boehler, chief executive officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. (DFC), were also present, according to a readout and photographs of the meeting provided by the Indonesian government.
SINGAPORE - Singapore hopes that the United States will further broaden and deepen its presence in this region, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Saturday (Nov 14), highlighting political and security issues , and economy as key areas of cooperation.
Speaking at the 8th Asean-US Summit, PM Lee said the US has been a vital partner for Asean since the end of World War II, and thanked it for its support to the region during the Covid-19 crisis.
The virtual summit was attended by US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who represented President Donald Trump. The lack of high-level US representation at the annual summit disappointed some quarters of the US establishment, such as the business community.
During the session, PM Lee said Singapore hopes that the US will further broaden and deepen its presence in this region, and welcomes the US' continued security presence in Asia.
Cambodia has called on the US businesses to expand their investment in Asean to boost partnerships.
The call was made at the Asean-US summit attended by Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth via videoconference on Saturday as Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn has gone into 14-day self-quarantine at his home after coming in contact with Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto who tested positive for COVID-19 after paying a visit to Cambodia.
In its statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Cambodia emphasised that both sides [Asean-US] need to further increase two-way trade and investment flows through the implementation of the “2020-2021 Asean-US Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (FA)”.
“Cambodia encouraged the American business community to expand their investment in Asean,” it said.
The U.S.-Asean Business Council said it was “deeply disappointed” with U.S. President Donald Trump for again forgoing an annual summit of Southeast Asian nations, this time hosted virtually by Vietnam.
For the second year in a row, several leaders from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations were not present for its annual summit with the U.S. on Saturday morning. The U.S. delegation was again led by National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, while Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met separately with regional officials.
Asean Leaders Snub U.S. Summit After Trump Skips Bangkok Meeting
“We are deeply disappointed by the Trump Administration’s repeated decision to have neither the president, vice president nor a cabinet member lead the U.S. delegation to these critical summits in the last two years,” said Alexander Feldman, chief executive officer of the council, a Washington-based advocacy group.
AS CHINA DEAL UPS PRESSURE, WILL TRUMP SKIP NEXT WORLD MEETINGS? The end of this week will bring two major international meetings that, if the past is any indication, Trump is likely to spurn.
On Friday, the members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group will meet for a virtual forum hosted by Malaysia. That group includes 21 Pacific Rim nations, including the U.S., China and Russia.
Then, on Saturday and Sunday, the Group of 20 developed economies will meet for the annual G20 summit, hosted this year by Saudi Arabia. That meeting is expected to focus on economic relief for nations still recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
But whether the outgoing U.S. head of state will make an appearance remains in doubt. Trump skipped the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations last week, even as the economic bloc signed a new trade agreement with U.S. allies like Japan, South Korea and Australia, and its major geopolitical rival, China.
THE US-Asean Business Council said it was "deeply disappointed" with US President Donald Trump for again forgoing an annual summit of Southeast Asian nations, this time hosted virtually by Vietnam.
For the second year in a row, several leaders from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations were not present for its annual summit with the US on Saturday morning.
The US delegation was again led by National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, while Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met separately with regional officials.
"We are deeply disappointed by the Trump administration's repeated decision to have neither the president, vice president nor a cabinet member lead the US delegation to these critical summits in the last two years," said Alexander Feldman, chief executive officer of the council, a Washington-based advocacy group.
Officials in the Lao People's Democratic Republic say they are ready to further lift lockdown restrictions. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia's only landlocked country have remained steady at 19 for over a month, and there are zero reported deaths.
After a strict nationwide lockdown was partially lifted earlier this month, restaurants, some retail and service businesses like salons and auto shops were allowed to open, but people could not travel outside their provinces. Offices were allowed to reopen if they adopted "rotating shifts," the Nikkei Asian Review reported.
The country's National Task Force for COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced at a Friday press conference that more offices and businesses will resume normal operations on Monday, May 18. Some schools will reopen and certain sports activities will be permitted, reports The Laotian Times.
WASHINGTON - How countries respond to and manage the Covid-19 pandemic is a new factor in risk assessments, analysts say, as companies increasingly look to South-east Asia as an alternative to China as a manufacturing and supply engine.
"Companies definitely evaluate how countries are managing Covid-19 risk as they make investment decisions in the current environment," said Ms Kellie Meiman Hock, managing partner at global consultancy McLarty Associates.
"In particular, transparency in government response is critical," she added. For instance, decisions regarding essential versus non-essential industries must be consistent to allow companies to reasonably assess the impact of movement restrictions on their business, she told The Straits Times.
It was that time of the year again, as I have written previously, when the US-Philippines Society (USPS) held its Board of Directors Meeting and Business Mission here in Manila.
The society was launched in 2012 and I remember flying to Washington DC with our chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan, to attend its inaugural ceremonies.
With headquarters in the US capital, USPS was launched with a mission of enhancing and strengthening relations, and, simultaneously, raising awareness of today’s Philippines through programs on business, governance, culture, shared history, education, strategic issues, and conflict resolution.
Its programs reach policy makers and influencers in DC and beyond, likewise attracting interest from the growing Fil-Am community in the US.
Now on its eighth year, USPS is recognized as the premier organization in both countries that promote Philippines-US relations.