SAN FRANSISCO, 22 February 2016 – ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) participated in the 3rd AEM Roadshow to the United States, involving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley on 17-18 February. The roadshow was held in conjunction with the Special ASEAN-US Summit which took place in Sunnylands, California on 15-16 February.
During the roadshow, the Ministers attended the Joint Council Meeting of the U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement where they discussed the future of ASEAN-US economic cooperation with the United States Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman as well as senior State Department and Department of Commerce officials. The discussions took into account the summit’s focus on Promoting an Innovative, Entrepreneurial ASEAN Economic Community. Among the areas of cooperation raised at the Meeting were the proposed ASEAN Connect initiative which aims to provide a framework for engagement between the US and ASEAN in 4 areas – Connect Energy, Connect Business, Connect Policies and Connect Innovation as well as the US’s setting up of three ASEAN Connect centers in Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore. The other proposal was for ASEAN Trade Workshops focusing on issues relating to high-standard Free Trade Areas (FTAs).
The Ministers were also given the opportunity to showcase ASEAN to US investors by participating in panel discussions at the US-ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s Conference entitled “Asia’s Best Kept Secret: the ASEAN Economic Community.” The Ministers explained the ASEAN integration process to US investors and provided updates on ASEAN’s AEC Blueprint 2025 as well as engaged in discussions on future trends in innovation, entrepreneurship and the digital economy.
Further, the Ministers participated in visits to several high-tech companies which included Google, Autodesk, Silver Spring Networks and Prospect Silicon Valley, where US companies shared experiences on start-ups and innovative technology development. They discussed with San Francisco city officials the success factors of eco-systems for innovation and green cities development in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley areas. The Ministers also had the opportunity to discuss with Andreesen Horowitz, a venture capital company, on financing start-ups and innovative companies.
The United States is ASEAN’s key trade and investment partner with a combined trade value of USD 212 billion in 2014. The total United States investment in ASEAN is more than the combined US investment in China and India, and in 2014 reached USD 13 billion or 10% of ASEAN’s total FDI.
The AEM Roadshows are part of an initiative by the US Government in collaboration with the US-ASEAN Business Council to promote US-ASEAN trade and investment.