For the U.S., ASEAN has been one of the fastest growing export markets.
From 1990 to 1994, U.S. exports grew at an average annual rate of 14.1 percent. At present, more than half of ASEAN’s exports to the U.S. consist of industrial machinery and equipment including electronics, telecommunication components, computers and computer parts, according to a report from the Asia Foundation.
Total trade between ASEAN and the U.S. increased almost fourfold from US$23 billion in 1980 to US$80 billion in 1996. ASEAN is the fourth largest trading partner of the U.S. after Canada, Japan and Mexico.
Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold yesterday delivered a lecture on “ASEAN-U.S. Relations” to more than 100 government officials as part of his three-day working visit to Laos.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participants learned about the relationship the U.S. has with ASEAN member countries, especially in the fields of politics and socio-economic development.
The audience also heard about the U.S.’ perspective, policies and views in regard to ASEAN member countries. The lecture was jointly organized by the ministry’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and the Asia Foundation.
In recent ASEAN-U.S. meetings, economic issues have been on the agenda alongside political and security issues and development cooperation. Areas under discussion include trade, commodities, investment cooperation, and the Alliance for Mutual Growth.
Views have also been exchanged on regional trade developments such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the ASEAN Free Trade Area.
The ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality and the U.S. Department of Commerce Meeting on Standards and Related Activities began trade-related cooperation with the three-year ASEAN-U.S. Action Plan (2001-2003) to address Trade-Related Standards and Conformance Issues.
The First ASEAN-U.S. Informal Coordinating Mechanism Meeting was held on March 2003 in Vientiane.
ASEAN and the U.S. agreed to further increase cooperation on a joint work plan covering economic, political and development cooperation areas, to give greater focus and ensure the systematic implementation of future cooperation efforts.
ASEAN and the U.S. plan to hold further consultations on capacity building and training for the ASEAN Secretariat and officials from the ASEAN National Secretariats in the respective member countries of ASEAN.
In the field of security, ASEAN and the U.S. signed a Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism on Aug. 1, 2002, in Bandar Seri Begawan, Malaysia. –The China Post
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