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U.S. wants stronger economic ties with ASEAN: Trade Representative

(Xinhua)

17:09, August 30, 2012

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, President Barack Obama's Chief Trade Advisor, said Thursday that the United States has desire to have " more comprehensive relationship" with all Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

He said that the United States underscored the importance of the relationship with ASEAN, saying that the bloc is an important region for the United States.

"If we collectively take the 10 ASEAN members, they would represent for larger trading partner, we have a lot of room for growth," he told reporters before attending the Consultations with the ASEAN Economic Ministers.

He said the United States wanted to see more economic integration and harmonization among the ASEAN member states.

Kirk arrived here on Thursday morning to attend the ongoing 44th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting and related meeting, which was opened on Monday and will last until Friday.

According to a press release from the U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh, the United States saw the 10 ASEAN countries as key economic and strategic partners, and Kirk's visit was to demonstrate U.S. support for ASEAN integration and desire to deepen economic engagement with the region.

The ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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