Today in Rangoon, Myanmar, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker concluded a week-long commercial diplomacy trip, after making stops in Hanoi, Vietnam; Manila, Philippines; and Naypyitaw, Myanmar. All three countries are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a region that is the United States’ fourth-largest export market and the fifth-largest overall trading partner. The ten dynamic countries that comprise ASEAN have an economy valued at $2.4 trillion.
The economies of Vietnam, the Philippines, and Burma present enormous opportunity for U.S. businesses, which is why a delegation of U.S. CEOs and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council joined Secretary Pritzker to further commercial ties as well as strengthen our bilateral relationship in the region.
The Obama Administration has made a deliberate decision to deepen U.S. engagement with Asia, and throughout the week, Secretary Pritzker elaborated on the economic dimension of this commitment, which includes deepening trade and investment ties with existing partners, building the soft and hard infrastructure necessary to support the growth of emerging partners, and taking the steps necessary to level the playing field for commerce across the region.
Among her many events in Rangoon, Secretary Pritzker attended a business community luncheon hosted by the recently-formed American Chamber of Commerce. At the luncheon, she met with local entrepreneurs, regional AmCham representatives, and leaders from the Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Surrounded by a diverse business community, Secretary Pritzker expressed the U.S. government’s support for U.S. companies to do business with Burma and highlighted the ongoing work by the Commerce Department to support Burmese economic reforms.
This week’s commercial diplomacy trip provided the CEO delegation and the Commerce Department with opportunities to establish and strengthen relationships that will help promote U.S. business and support job creation in both the United States and the ASEAN region. In addition, U.S. businesses want to be part of the solution as countries across the region look to support a growing middle class, develop world-class infrastructure, unleash sustainable energy, and invest in their futures.
Learn more about Secretary Pritzker’s commercial diplomacy mission, and read about other highlights of the Secretary’s trip, including her meetings with Vietnamese government officials, her meetings with Philippine government officials, her speech at a luncheon event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce, the Management Association of the Philippines and the Makati Business Club, and her first visit to Burma.