1. The Fourth Meeting of the ASEAN-US Dialogue took place in Washington, D.C. USA from March 9 to March 11 in the Department of State.

  2. The ASEAN delegations were led by H.E. Atmono Suryo, Director-General, ASEAN Indonesia; H.E. Mohd. Yusof bin Hitam, Director- General, ASEAN – Malaysia; H.E. Vicente B. Valdepenas, Jr., Deputy Minister of Trade and industry, Philippines; and H.E. Sime D. Hidalgo, Director-General, ASEAN – Philippines; H.E. Punch Coomarasawamy, Ambassador of Singapore to the United States; and H.E. Vudhi Chuchom, Director- General, ASEAN – Thailand; H.E. Vicente B. Valdepenas, Jr., leader of the Philippine Delegation, was the ASEAN spokesman. H.E. Narciso G. Reyes, ASEAN Secretary General and members of his staff were also present.
  3. The U.S. Delegation was led by Anthony C. Albrecht, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. The U.S. Delegation was made up of representatives of the Departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture, the U.S. Trade Representative, AID, Council of Economic Advisors, OPIC and Export-Import Bank.
  4. The Meeting opened with a welcoming statement by Walter J. Stoessel, Deputy Secretary of State. The Deputy Secretary reaffirmed the close and friendly ties between the U.S. and ASEAN, the increasingly prosperous effective grouping of five nations in Southeast Asia. Secretary Stoessel went on to state that this Administration is determined to continue the high level of cooperation, friendship and openness which has been established with the ASEAN states. the dialogue process has helped ASEAN achieve some very impressive accomplishments, including concrete and practical improvements in, the economic and commercial relations between ASEAN and the U.S. Regarding the role of the private sector, the ASEAN –U.S. Business Council is proving to be most important in promoting long-run economic progress and increased trade and investment.
  5. Anthony C. Albrecht, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and Head of the U.S. Delegation, in introductory remarks noted the importance of ASEAN as the fifth largest trading partner with the U.S. The total trade has reached $22 billion dollars in 1981 and, that U.S. investment in the region was now over $5 billion with more to come. He referred to $2.2 billion in EXIM loans and guarantees over the past five years. OPIC has provided $315 million of insurance on 16 projects in ASEAN.
  6. Dr. Vicente B. Valdepenas Jr., as the ASEAN spokesman, welcomed the Fourth Dialogue as an opportunity for both the U.S. and ASEAN to resolve their common concerns and hoped that the Dialogue would further strengthen the partnership between ASEAN and the United States.
  7. Both sides noted with satisfaction the progress of the ASEAN – U.S. Dialogue as evidenced by the expanding development cooperation programme, cultural, educational, joint narcotics control activities, and the increasing flow of technicians and officials between the two sides.

    International Economy

  8. There was a wide-ranging discussion of the issues facing the world economy. Particular reference was made to the importance of revitalizing the U.S. economy in order to restore the prosperity and the growth of the world trading system, including the ASEAN area. The U.S. welcomed the continuing vigorous growth exhibited by the ASEAN economics, expressing the view that the role of the private sector was one of the major elements in their prosperity.
  9. The ASEAN side reassured the U.S. side that ASEAN states have always taken a positive attitude in searching for a healthy international political and economic environment. However the ASEAN delegations expressed concern over certain recent developments such as the U.S. policy on commodities of interest to ASEAN particularly tin and sugar; on the Integrated Programme for Commodities (IPC); U.S. Policy on Multilateral Development Banks (MDB’s) ECDC activities; and the U.S. position on Global Negotiations. Nonetheless, ASEAN is hopeful that the spirit of genuine cooperation and meaningful consultations fostered at the Cancun Summit, which has characterized the ASEAN – U.S. Dialogue and its activities would result in mutually beneficial and cooperative endeavors.

    Trade and Commodities

  10. Both sides discussed the results of the MTN including the reduction of tariffs and the agreements on non-tariff measures. Both sides noted that economic growth and unemployment led to rising protectionist sentiment in many countries and pointed to the advantages of maintaining an open international trading system and the need to resist protectionist trends.
  11. Both sides referred to the importance of the upcoming GATT Ministerial Meeting and viewed it as a forum to improve the multilateral trading system.
  12. The ASEAN side expressed appreciation for the U.S. GSP scheme which has benefitted ASEAN exports, particularly of manufactures and welcomed the U.S. efforts to further improve the scheme as well as assist ASEAN countries in better utilizing the scheme. The ASEAN side further stressed the importance of making the GSP scheme a permanent feature of the U.S. trade policy.
  13. The ASEAN side emphasized the importance of basic commodity sports in their respective economies. They expressed their concern at the slow progress of the Integrated Programme for Commodities (IPC) in the establishment and operation of effective international commodity agreements which will contribute to the stabilization of prices. The ASEAN side reiterated their strong concern .with regard to GSA release of tin onto the world market. The U.S. side recognized the views ASEAN on commodities and reiterated its policy of support for a case by, case approach toward commodity matters. The U.S. vicited active participation in the international Natural Rubber, Sugar and Coffee Agreements. The U.S. side felt that GSA sales had not disrupted the tin market but expressed its understanding of the ASEAN concern with regard to GSA sales of tin and in this content offered to hold special consultations with ASEAN countries. At the same time the U.S. Government wished to assure tin producers that it would cooperate with the Sixth ITA and expects that consumes and producers would joint even though for well-known reasons the United States would be unable to participate in the Agreement.
  14. The ASEAN side expressed serious concern on the possible adverse effects of the Carribbean Basin Initiative on ASEAN exports to the U.S., in particular sugar, a substantial portion of which have been subject to full tariff duties and fees not only on account of the being ineligible under the U.S. GSP but also due to the U.S. Sugar Price Support Programme. The ASEAN side believed that the tariff benefits that would be accorded beneficiary sugar exporting countries under the CBI would result in a competitive disadvantage for ASEAN sugar exports. The U.S. side indicated that an objective of the overall CBI is to encourage diversification away from sugar and that the U.S. does not expect that Caribbean sugar exports to the U.S. will rise significantly above historical levels.

    Investment and Finance

  15. Both sides recognized the vital role of private capital in economic development and stressed the importance of maintaining a favourable investment climate.
  16. The ASEAN side requested the U.S. to facilitate ASEAN’s efforts to raise financing for their development projects, to organize investment seminars, and to undertake measures to promote U.S. investment ‘in the ASEAN countries. On financial cooperation, ASEAN requested the U.S. first, to encourage U.S. financial institutions to work on ASEAN industrial project financing, second, to make available technical expertise of financial issues; third, to organize programmes such as seminars study tours and on the job training to assist ASEAN access to the U.S. capital market; fourth, to organize study tours or training programmes on insurance and finally to encourage the U.S. Export-Import Bank to continue its efforts to promote ASEAN development.
  17. The U.S. side indicated that they understood and supported the economic development objectives which underlay these proposals, and they would give serious consideration to them. In particular, regarding seminars, investment missions and feasibility studies the U.S. agreed to make further proposals. The U.S. representatives pointed to the programmes of several U.S. Government agencies – including the U.S. Export-Import Bank, OPIC, the Department of Commerce, Agency for International Development, and the Trade and Development Programme – which are active in the ASEAN region in support of U.S. investment. The EXIM Bank has size able commitments in the ASEAN region and is prepared to increase these commitments. Similarly, the U.S. noted that OPIC has been active in providing insurance, loan guarantees, and feasibility studies grants in the ASEAN area; still there is considerable scope for expansion of OPIC activities in the region.

    ASEAN – US Business Council

  18. Both sides welcomed the special presentation closely related to trade and investment issues made by Mr. William E. Tucker, Chairman of the U.S. section of the ASEAN U.S. Business Council. His reference to the training and technology transfer opportunities offered by U.S. firms for the ASEAN area was welcomed. Both sides considered that the possibility of future participation by private sector representatives in appropriate Dialogue sessions, by invitation, would be desirable.

    Development Cooperation

  19. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the progress made in six on-going ASEAN – US development projects in the fields of agriculture, energy, public health, and academic training and research. ASEAN – U.S. projects are now underway or planned in all five member countries.
  20. The growing success of the cooperation between ASEAN and the U.S. with AID funding was underlined by the signing of the seventh project agreement between the USG and ASEAN during the Dialogue by AID Administrator M. Peter Mc Pherson on behalf of the United States, and Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the U.S., D. Ashari, on behalf of ASEAN. The Agreement provides $1.0 million of AID assistance over three years. This is the second energy project between ASEAN and the U.S. in the very important area of energy planning and development.
  21. The – first ASEAN – U.S. development cooperation agreement was signed in 1979 and since then AID has committed $16.5 million in economic assistance to ASEAN regional projects.
  22. Other topics discussed during the meeting included Narcotics Control, Cooperation in Science and Technology, Agriculture, Education, Cultural Affairs, and Shipping. On ocean shipping policy ASEAN requested the U.S. Government to approve as soon as possible its proposed legislation to exempt the shipping lines of developing countries from being classified as controlled carriers. Both, sides agreed to study carefully the proposals and suggestions exchanged in the various fields during these discussions with the aim of strengthening ASEAN – U.S. cooperation.