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1st ASEAN-U.S. business summit eyes deeper economic ties

(Xinhua)

13:32, August 30, 2012

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The ASEAN-U.S. Business Summit was held here on Thursday to explore ways to deepen trade and investment ties between the two sides, officials said.

The event was attended by ASEAN Economic Ministers or their representatives, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN David Carden, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, and about 100 business executives and policy makers from the two sides.

Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh, the chair of ASEAN in 2012, said at the opening ceremony that the forum was focused on the development of the digital economy and innovation in the ASEAN.

"This is the first ever ASEAN-U.S. Business Summit even though we have many years of relationship with each other," he said, hoping that the bloc would see further growth in trade and investment with the United States after the summit.

Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, who missed the opening ceremony due to flight delay caused by typhoon, David Carden said the United States is very pleased to work with ASEAN, saying that the 10 ASEAN countries are the key economic and strategic partners of the United States.

"Today's summit is another of our journey to enhance trade and investment between the U.S. and ASEAN under the U.S.-ASEAN framework agreement being signed in 2006," he said.

Surin said that the ASEAN has seen an impressive record of imports and exports with the United States. In 2011, the trade volume was 198.8 billion U.S. dollars in the U.S. favor.

"The room is still much more to grow between the two sides," he said.

"Through the summit, we hope to see more progress on trade, investment, human resources development, energy, and green technology...everything that will energize economic progress here in the region and also open up opportunities and potential for the U.S. investment in ASEAN," he said.

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