A high-level delegation led by H.E. Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam visited the United States from 10-14 June 2013 to further enhance trade and investment relations between the two sides. The delegation comprised of Economic Ministers from Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines; Vice Ministers from Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam; and senior officials from ASEAN Member States.
The delegation visited three cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco (Silicon Valley) and Washington DC. The delegation visited a number of multinational corporations (Fox Studios, Covidien, Mattel, Google) and held consultations with the private sector including venture capitalists. The delegation also met with top US government officials, including Ambassador Miriam Sapiro, Acting US Trade Representative; Mr. Cameron Kerry, Acting Secretary of Commerce; and Mr. Francisco Sanchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs. The delegation further called on Mr. Chuck Reed, Mayor of San Jose and also Congressmen Mr. Devin Nunes at Capitol Hill. The delegation also visited the Port of Los Angeles, which served as the main gateway for trade between ASEAN and the United States.
The total trade between ASEAN and the United States reached US$ 198.8 billion in 2011 which made the United States the fourth largest trading partner of ASEAN. Whereas for investment, the United States is the third largest investor in ASEAN investing more than US$5.8 billion in 2011.
“The Ministers gained better insights of the issues faced by investors through their interaction with business community and reiterated their commitment for timely realisation of an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 which will create a single market and production base for them to establish new or expand existing operations in the region,” said Mr. Lim Hong Hin, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community.