Citing that the some Pacific countries made an extraordinary period of prosperity in Asia, the United States of America today said Asia the world’s most dynamic region.
In his remarks on a 21st Century Pacific Partnership in Japan’s capital of Tokyo, US Secretary of State says the tremendous prosperity in Asia has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty across the entire region and it has fostered dynamic, innovative economies that today are fueling global growth.
“Today, it is fair to say that Asia is quite simply the world’s most dynamic region.” – Secretary Kerry
Asia is showing the world what can happen when you look forward
According to Secretary Kerry, throughout Asia, he has now seen that very same spirit firsthand, people overcoming conflicts that seem to be locked in time.
“Indeed, much of my work personally over 29 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was about trying to resolve the lingering questions of the 20th century.” – Secretary Kerry
In the Philippines, Secretary worked with people who struggled to shake free the yoke of dictatorship and who fought for the fullness of democracy.
He says he will never forget being in Manila during elections, seeing women come out of the voting booth with tears in their eyes, knowing that they now had the power to change their own country for the better and to buy a different future.
In Burma, he met Aung Sung Sui Kyi in the very home in which she was imprisoned for nearly two decades for the simple crime of speaking her mind.
Today, President Thein Sein and a resurgent parliament, one that incredibly includes former military officers working alongside Aung Sung Sui Kyi, he noted.
Both parties together have launched a journey toward democracy that was unthinkable just two years ago.
In Vietnam, Secretary Kerry was also deeply engaged in and witness to this same work in Vietnam.
Decades after the war had left the battlefield, it still lived on in the hearts and in the minds of so many, he said.
“Vietnam faced an embargo and an absence of true peace.” – Secretary Kerry
However, the two countries reached out and found the will to try to move forward, to find answers to important questions about prisoners of war and missing servicemen, and to move beyond the emotions in order to normalize relations.
US-Vietnam relations is an evolving relationship about the future, including the latest U.S.-Vietnam human rights dialogue that we held in Hanoi last Friday.
“Unimaginable not so long ago.” – Secretary Kerry
Japan a prominent name in Asia
Japan is America’s fourth-largest export market, and the nearly 300 billion trade and investment relationships that our workers have spent decades building is especially critical in an interdependent world.
Last week, the United States and Japan reached an important bilateral agreement that marks a significant step toward Japan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations.
Secretary Kerry considered the step as a great opportunity for Japan and for the region and for the world.
With Japan onboard, this trade agreement would represent 40 percent of global GDP.
US optimistic in the realization of the ‘Pacific’ Dream
According to Secretary Kerry, President Obama said the Pacific Ocean doesn’t separate America so much as it connects with Asia.
“Our Pacific Dream is to translate our strongest values into an unprecedented security, economic, and social cooperation.” – Secretary Kerry
US and Asia-Pacific can break new ground in how we keep countries safe, help economies to mature, create new jobs and embrace partnerships for the future.
He says they can do it while empowering people to make these choices for themselves.
He explains they can turn their potential and their promise into widespread prosperity and opportunity.
So to make its shared vision a reality for the region and to ensure that Asia contributes to global peace and prosperity, they to organize around four principles: strong growth, fair growth, smart growth, and just growth.
Addressing the challenge in security
According to Secretary Kerry, the successful region they can build as partners must be stable, peaceful and a contributor to global security.
He cites that the presence of the United States in the Asia Pacific and our network of alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand, these have already formed a fundamental platform.
“But many challenges remain, and the most immediate among them, as we all know, is North Korea.” – Secretary Kerry
He says the North’s dangerous nuclear missile program threatens not only North Korea’s neighbors, but it threatens its own people, and it threatens this concept of the Pacific Dream.
Howeve, the United States remains open to authentic and credible negotiations on denuclearization, but the burden is on Pyongyang.
North Korea must take meaningful steps to show that it will honor commitments it has already made, and it has to observe laws and the norms of international behavior, he said.
Ensuring Pacific economies create prosperity in marketplaces
US also ensures that Pacific marketplaces are fair, meaning that they are open, transparent, and accountable.
The region must enjoy sustainable economies, free trade, fast growth, but it must offer every nation, big and small, a seat at the table and a clear sense of what everybody’s responsibilities are.
In the United States, Secretary Kerry says they share this tradition of trying to help people throughout the world to help themselves.
Together with Asian countries, Pacific Dream can be realized
Secretary Kerry say US and Asian countries can only realize the promise of this Pacific Dream if they choose to take that step together, building a partnership that grows strong and fair and smart and just.
“And if we achieve that together, we will have lived up to our responsibilities for future generations.” – Secretary Kerry
Economic history is being made in Asia today
Recognizing that its prosperity is inextricably linked to the prosperity of Asia-Pacific region, the United States of America recognized some of the successs for the last 18 months to in enhancing its economic engagement with the region.
President Obama and Secretary Clinton signaled in a large number of speeches America’s foreign policy shift toward Asia, really beginning about four years ago by focusing more attention on the Asia Pacific region.
Economic history is being made in this region today, it has been made over the last decade, and it will continue to be made in the coming decades.
Asian economies are not only growing rapidly, which they are, but they are also including more and more people in the creation of that growth and the benefits derived from that growth.
U.S. companies have been investing in, and trading with, Asian economies at an exponentially faster rate over the past decade.
The US is now focusing much of its attention on strengthening economic ties with ASEAN.
In Indonesia, the US has established a very robust commercial dialogue to help identify new and mutually beneficial business relations.
In 2013, the US anticipates even closer collaboration with Indonesia, because Indonesia will be host of APEC next year and that will give it a very important role in shaping trans-Pacific cooperation.
Exports to the ASEAN countries together exceeded $76 billion, up 42 percent since 2009. This makes ASEAN the sixth largest destination for U.S. exports after the EU, Canada, Mexico, China and Japan.
Obama’s National Export Initiative or NEI has been a major factor in this effort because its goal is to double exports over a 5-year period.
The US sees ASEAN as an important recipient of large numbers of increased American exports.
The US also has sought to forge more open ties with Southeast Asian nations through institutionalizing the U.S-ASEAN Leaders meeting and through its participation very recently in the East Asia Summit.
Under the U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement or TIFA, Mr. Hormats says the United States and ASEAN are working on new trade initiatives on digital connectivity, on healthcare, on services, on agribusiness, and on consumer goods.
The bottom line is that this engagement can create jobs in the United States and in all of the partner countries engaged in this process.
US considers Asia-Pacific region as emerging epicenter of economic growth
The Asia-Pacific region is emerging more and more as the center of gravity in global affairs.
United States is counting on India’s rise as a global power and one that engages from the Middle East and East Asia to Africa and beyond.
The Obama Administration has high hopes for the U.S.-India relationship, and we are working hard to ensure that our ambitions are matched by results.
US says Asia-Pacific is also home to military buildups, nuclear proliferation, piracy, trafficking, natural disasters, and serious environmental and ecological challenges.
The United States renews and reinforces its longtime role as a Pacific power.
The United States has always been a Pacific nation, and it has strengthened and reaffirmed its Pacific alliances.