With much of future global economic growth expected to be centered in the Asia-Pacific, the United States is siezing th opportunity to increase its economic engagement with Asian countries.
In his remarks at American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand, Under Secretary Robert D. Hormats aid Asian economies and populations are growing rapidly and so are the opportunities to expand US exports to the region.
In 2011, the United States exported nearly $900 billion in goods to APEC countries which are more exports than the US sent to any other group of regional economies, Mr. Hormats noted.
“We hope that our economic shift to Asia has been obvious and beneficial.” -Mr. Hormats
The United States was able to get KORUS passed, hosted a successful APEC year in 2011, and it is increasing its engagement with ASEAN as well, Mr. Hormats said.
In Southeast Asia in particular, the U.S. government is looking to launch new initiatives to support its private sectors interests in the region.
The U.S. Trade Development Agency (USTDA) is leading a Connectivity Cooperation Initiative with ASEAN and the State Department is collaborating with the U.S. ASEAN Business Council to organize a Lower Mekong Initiative Infrastructure Best Practices Exchange, he cited.
“As we make this shift to Asia, though, it is imperative that we do it in the right way.” -Mr. Hormats
He says the decisions Asia’s emerging economies make together with the United States will help govern a rules-based system that will guide us through the 21st century.
He stresses that if they get the rules right, all of the countries will prosper together.
“As we build this future, we should be clear. We are striving to build a global, rules-based system in which all businesses stand a chance to succeed.” -Mr. Hormats
Secretary Clinton has clearly articulated US vision that economic competition should be open, free, transparent, and fair, Mr. Hormats stressed.
On his meeting with AmCham in Thailand, Mr. Hormats reiterated the Secretary Clinton’s statemnt that the US wants to work with the AmChams around the world to best support U.S. businesses abroad and drive recovery at home.
Both embassies have identified best practices that demonstrate how the U.S. government and AmChams can better collaborate to expand opportunities for U.S. businesses worldwide.
On November 2011, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reported that trade between the United States and Southeast Asia has tripled over the past 20 years.
The United States shares ASEAN’s vision for strengthening the roads, rails, ports, power stations, and other infrastructure required for the efficient flow of goods and services.
The United States is committed to expanding trade and investment ties with Indonesia through the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership and has witnessed measurable progress in the past year.
Two-way goods trade grew to $23.4 billion in 2010, and in the first half of 2011 U.S. goods exports to Indonesia expanded by 17 percent year-on-year while imports from Indonesia grew by 22 percent. Indonesia continues to be a top beneficiary of U.S. trade preferences extended under the Generalized System of Preferences, with $1.9 billion worth of goods entering the U.S. market duty free under the program in 2010. The investment relationship is also gaining strength: in 2009, U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in Indonesia reached $16 billion and Indonesian FDI in the United States was up 175 percent from 2008, totaling $256 million.