Trade and Economy Ministers from several ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members are on an official three-day tour through various US cities. The aim of this Ministers’ “road show” (as it has been officially labelled) is to give the US business sector the chance to evaluate trade opportunities with ASEAN countries and for officials from ASEAN countries to boost their economic, investment and trade relations with the USA.
The “road show” includes high-level officials such as Secretary-General of ASEAN Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Minister of Trade of Indonesia Dr. Mari Pangestu, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia Mr. Mustapa Mohamed, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Mr. Lim Jock Seng of Brunei, and Dr. Minister of Industry and Commerce of Laos Nam Viyaketh, who have been joined by several US stakeholders and officials. Among the most important US figures that have participated in the meetings are USTR (United States Trade Representative) Ambassador Ron Kirk, former US Senator Slade Gorton, and President of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council Alexander Feldman.
ASEAN countries currently constitute the fourth largest export market for US goods and services, accounting for revenues of around US$ 53.8 billion during 2009.