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Asean, US resolve to deepen trade ties
Publication Date : 31-08-2012
Asean and US trade ministers resolved yesterday to deepen trade and investment ties between Southeast Asia and the United States.
The agreement came during a meeting co-chaired by Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
A joint statement said the ministers "reaffirmed their resolve to further deepen trade and investment ties through initiatives of mutual interest with concrete outcomes."
Among initiatives being considered for 2013 are cooperation on trade facilitation, the digital economy, trade and the environment as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and Asean connectivity, the statement said.
Ministers also reaffirmed the need for a second Asean ministerial "roadshow" to the United States next year to raise awareness of the region and promote economic ties.
The statement noted that merchandise trade between Asean and the United States grew 9.2 per cent from a year earlier to US$194 billion in 2011. Asean imports from the United state increased by 8.6 per cent to $76.4 billion and Asean exports to America rose 9.8 per cent to $118.2 billion.
The United States remained the fourth largest partner of Asean in terms of merchandise trade while Asean was America's fifth largest partner, the statement said.
At the same time, the Unites States was the third largest foreign direct investor in Asean with investment reaching $156.6 billion last year, up 11.2 from a year earlier. Asean investment in the United State grew at an even faster rate of 13.1 per cent to reach $24.6 billion.