July 24, 2012—When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Cambodia to address the U.S.-ASEAN Business Forum on July 13, she made a point of highlighting the ADVANCE programs managed by Nathan Associates, particularly the ASEAN Single Window project.
The purpose of the first-ever forum was to explore ways to strengthen the international competitiveness of businesses in ASEAN and enhance ties between U.S. and ASEAN business communities.
In her opening remarks, Secretary Clinton said that U.S.–ASEAN economic ties are already strong, but that the United States wants to further deepen the economic partnership. “For example, with our ASEAN Single Window and other ADVANCE programs, we are working with ASEAN to develop a fully integrated market by harmonizing customs and improving regulatory standards,” said Secretary Clinton. “And later this fall, our trade ministers will gather here in Siem Reap to discuss ways to advance our Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, the operating system of our economic partnership.”
The forum was attended by ASEAN officials, including the Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen, President of Myanmar Thein Sein, and Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra; U.S. representatives—Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Administration Francisco Sánchez, Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Robert Hormats, and nine American ambassadors stationed in ASEAN; and many CEOs and other executives of companies in ASEAN and the United States.
Photo: William Ng for U.S. State Department (public domain)