Saturday, May 18, 2024
 
 

US-ASEAN establish a research center in Washington, D.C.

The US is ASEAN's second largest trading partner, following China

US Department of State

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Vice President Kamala Harris, who was in Jakarta for a US-ASEAN Summit on September 6, announced Washington’s decision to establish a joint center with the bloc, which is widely known by its acronym ASEAN, as the Biden administration works to strengthen relations in the Indo-Pacific amid growing tensions with China.

ASEAN’s membership consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – with East Timor as an observer member. Initially founded in 1967, the ten-nation grouping has a total population of around 680 million. The ASEAN Secretariat is located in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Washington chooses Arizona State University to create new center

To establish the new international center, the State Department has launched a public-private partnership with Arizona State University. The center will further institutionalize and deepen the relationship between the United States and ASEAN, while bolstering support for American economic and cultural engagement with Southeast Asia.

In its recent press announcement, the State Department announced its academic partnership with Arizona State University for this critical component of the US-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Arizona State has a longstanding demonstrated commitment to educational programs and studies on issues in Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region. Further, with an academic presence in Washington; Tempe, Arizona; and Los Angeles, California; as well as throughout Southeast Asia, Arizona State is well-positioned to facilitate coordination with ASEAN, as well as with key private sector organizations and academic institutions across the ASEAN region.

Expanding Exchanges and Economic Cooperation

Since the establishment of the dialogue partnership in 1977, ASEAN and the United States have built extensive cooperation in various areas covering political-security, economic, and socio-cultural affairs.

The US is ASEAN’s second-largest trading partner, after China.

The United States is the largest source of foreign direct investment in Southeast Asia, and more than 6,200 American businesses have contributed to a record $520.3 billion in total trade between the United States and the nations of ASEAN in 2022, creating 625,000 jobs in all fifty states, and one million jobs throughout Southeast Asia.

The close partnership between ASEAN and the United States is also reflected in the increasing people-to-people engagements for the combined one billion people of both blocs, as well as the growing number of students from ASEAN countries in the United States. The center’s activities will be aimed at supporting the US and ASEAN’s joint efforts to promote an open, connected, prosperous, resilient, and secure region, specifically to highlight the value of open exchanges among free market-based economic systems.

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