ASEAN and US Vow To Strengthen Economic and Trade Ties

The ASEAN bloc and the United States pledged to strengthen their economic and trade ties to promote investment, trade, transport connectivity, and more inclusive economic growth and sustainable development, the US and the Southeast Asian association said after the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit 2022 hosted by US President Joe Biden at the White House on 13 May. 

The two parties committed to establish an ASEAN-U.S. Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that is meaningful, substantive, and mutually beneficial at the 10th ASEAN-U.S. Summit in November 2022.

Meanwhile, they pledged to continue to advance stronger, more equitable, more inclusive economic growth and sustainable development, including through the implementation of the ASEAN-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement and Expanded Economic Engagement Initiatives Workplan, and through the vital economic participation of the U.S. in the region.

ASEAN and the US will also work to meet the ASEAN region’s infrastructure needs by catalyzing investment in high-standard, transparent, low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure projects that advance inclusive and sustainable economic growth that meet applicable international labour standards and environmental protections.

The parties will look to promote trade and investment in order to facilitate resilient global supply chains and seamless regional connectivity, including for essential goods, commodities, high-tech products, and other essential supplies and services, contributing to sustainable economic recovery and resilience in the region.

The US and ASEAN vowed to further explore cooperation in areas of mutual benefit such as smart manufacturing, blockchain applications, trade facilitation, digital connectivity, digitalisation and e-commerce of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), e-services, digital financial services and regional payment connectivity, new and emerging technologies in line with relevant ASEAN agreements and frameworks, as well as increase technical assistance for ASEAN Member States to promote innovation, and capacity building on digital skills.