Centres for coordinating US economic engagement in ASEAN to be set up

Centres for coordinating US economic engagement in ASEAN to be set up

Part of the US-ASEAN Connect initiative, the centres will be located in Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok, says Ambassador to the US Mission to ASEAN Nina Hachigian.

JAKARTA: Three centres in ASEAN coordinating the United States' (US) economic engagement in the region are expected to be set up by September this year, said Ms Nina Hachigian, Ambassador to the US Mission to ASEAN.

Speaking on the sidelines of a visit by US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jakarta on Friday (Apr 22), Ms Hachigian said the three centres - each based in the US embassy in Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok - are currently being staffed.

The centres are part of the US-ASEAN Connect initiative launched by President Barrack Obama in February.

Mr Blinken was given a presentation by several start-up companies in South Jakarta during his visit. The young Indonesian entrepreneurs shared their ideas and challenges operating their business in the country.

In his remarks, Mr Blinken said the US government is committed to supporting the emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem through its US-ASEAN Connect initiative.

He said that since the initiative was announced earlier this year, the US government has been improving its coordination to help connect the private sectors and governments in ASEAN.

As part of US-ASEAN Connect, a roadshow involving several major American companies was organised, travelling through several ASEAN countries including Indonesia.

“Indonesia has made progress in changing the regulatory environment, creating greater confidence for investors," said Mr Blinken. "But whilst it has made progress there is still some distance to travel.

"One of the things we can bring to the table is some expertise and experience in doing that, identifying the long poles in the tent, and to see if we can help our partners here deal with them.”

Source: CNA/hs