Why ASEAN Matters
Created in partnership by the East-West Center in Washington, the US-ASEAN Business Council, and the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN explores the important and multi-faceted relationship between the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) across diplomatic, strategic, economic, cultural, and social dimensions.
About the Report
In 2015, ASEAN formed the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which is collectively the third largest economy in the Indo-Pacific and the fifth largest economy in the world. ASEAN’s economy is projected to grow by over 5% per year to become the fourth largest economy in the world by 2030. It is also the United States’ fourth largest export market in the world. The United States exports over $122 billion in American-made goods to ASEAN annually, with all 50 states exporting to ASEAN and 29 states exporting over $1 billion each year. This generates and supports more than 625,000 American jobs and in 13 US states, ASEAN accounts for more than 20% of export-dependent jobs to the Indo-Pacific. ASEAN as a bloc also ranks as the third largest population in the world and has a combined GDP of $3.2 trillion. ASEAN is young: more than 380 million people in the region are under the age of 35, a number roughly 20 percent larger than the entire population of the United States.
Produced by the East-West Center, the US-ASEAN Business Council, and the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, the 5th edition of ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN brings to light important facts and figures, including that:
- ASEAN is the number one destination for U.S. investment in the Indo-Pacific and has received more than $338 billion in U.S. foreign direct investment, more than the U.S. has invested in China, India, Japan, and South Korea combined;
- With 915 million mobile connections, almost 1.5x ASEAN’s population, this region is the world’s fastest-growing internet market;
- ASEAN’s digital economy is projected to exceed $300 billion by 2025;
- ASEAN is a top five destination for U.S. food and agricultural exports, amounting to $13.7 billion, including over $2 billion in soybeans and $1.6 billion in cotton; and
- More than 34% of Asian Americans identify with an ASEAN ethnicity (over 7.6 million people).