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.
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.
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 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.
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.
General Secretary of the Communist Party and President of Vietnam H.E. Nguyen Phu Trong opened the first session of the 37th ASEAN Summit on the morning of 12 November by emphasizing the spirit of a cohesive and responsive ASEAN, the theme of Vietnam’s ASEAN chairmanship. Vietnam’s Prime Minister H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc also spoke on the need for multilateral collaboration in tackling unprecedented challenges of a global health crisis and regional instability.
Authors: Jack Myint, Ye Min Thwin Kyaw and Irene Myo
Heidi Mah joined the Council as a Manager in November 2020 and is responsible for the ICT and Singapore portfolios.
(Washington, DC) The US-ASEAN Business Council and its members congratulate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Senator Kamala D. Harris on their victory in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. The Council salutes and congratulates the American people whose turnout is projected to be the largest in American history, proving that the American Experiment which started with the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, is alive and well. Furthermore, we are proud to see Vice President-elect Harris make history by becoming the first woman and first bi-racial American to ever hold the position. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris garnered more than 74 million votes and counting – more than any other presidential slate in U.S. history.