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Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at the U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit High Tea with ASEAN Leaders and U.S. Executives


Thank you, Ambassador Osius, for that introduction. It’s an honor to be here.

Since I became Commerce Secretary last year, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to ministers from most of your governments and travel to the region. We’ve discussed the U.S. commitment to ASEAN and our desire to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth together. 

And I’ve heard you speak about the principle of ASEAN centrality. I’m honored to be here – at the first ASEAN summit in Washington, D.C. - to affirm America’s commitment to that principle. 

I’m looking forward to our discussion as we explore how to strengthen our economic ties and solve global problems.  Today, I am announcing that the U.S. government’s largest annual trade mission and business development forum, Trade Winds, will be held in Southeast Asia in spring 2023. The forum will feature Thailand as its regional hub and include optional spin-off visits to five other ASEAN markets.

Commerce trade specialists in Washington and at our embassies look forward to working with you to use the forum to build closer ties between our business communities.

We have many other efforts underway to strengthen our ties with ASEAN member states. We’re planning a healthcare mission to Southeast Asia in September and an advanced manufacturing trade mission to the region in October.

Last fall, Singapore Trade Minster Gan and I signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin work under a new U.S.-Singapore Partnership for Growth and Innovation.

This effort will enhance regional collaboration in areas including advanced manufacturing and supply chain resilience, clean energy, the digital economy, and healthcare.

I welcome ASEAN-wide participation in the initiative and look forward to collaborating in similar ways with other ASEAN states.

The Commerce Department is excited to welcome Southeast Asian investors and entrepreneurs to the SelectUSA Investment Summit next month in Maryland. I’m asking for your help in ensuring the strongest possible ASEAN representation.

We’ve also been hard at work to address supply chain disruptions. We are focused on strengthening and implementing coordination and collaboration with your governments, your companies, and other domestic and international partners to build resilience and security throughout supply chains.

Just this week, I signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with my Malaysian counterpart, Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali, to work more closely to address semiconductor supply chain issues.

Another key to sustainable economic growth is clean energy. Under Secretary Lago will lead a clean energy trade mission to Southeast Asia next month.

I also want to work more closely with ASEAN Member States to explore shared priorities tied to the U.S. clean technology export competitiveness initiative, which I lead. This initiative seeks to achieve our shared goals of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, achieving collective energy security, and creating sustainable economic growth for years to come.

Together, we can tackle climate change and decarbonization and move closer to our respective net-zero goals.

The Commerce Department is also focused on the digital economy.

I’m glad that the Philippines and Singapore joined the U.S. last month to announce the establishment of the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum. The forum will help companies demonstrate compliance with internationally recognized data privacy standards. The U.S. welcomes broader ASEAN participation in the forum.

Finally, we’re pleased that the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies is launching the U.S.-ASEAN Institute for Rising Leaders, which will help public service leaders from all ASEAN countries sharpen their skills. I’d like to recognize SAIS Dean James Steinberg for his work to build this initiative.

Thank you all for being valued partners to the U.S. I’m excited to continue our work together so all our nations can all succeed in the 21st-century economy.

Your Excellency, President Joko Widodo.

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob. 

It is a pleasure to be here with you today for this historic Summit. I look forward to hearing your insights about where our governments and business communities can work more closely together. Your Excellency, the floor is yours.