Business Connect

Business Connect supports increased commercial engagement between the United States and ASEAN.

Connect and the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) have developed the U.S.-ASEAN Internship Program (USAIP) to highlight internship opportunities for Southeast Asian students at top U.S. companies operating in Southeast Asia. The internship program will offer local students an opportunity to better understand the U.S. style of doing business and potentially secure employment after graduation, while also helping U.S. companies to recruit the best future employees. Internship opportunities will be updated regularly on

The USAIP’s online platform and support materials connect leading U.S. companies with ASEAN’s brightest young people for internships that launch careers and develop the next generation of young professionals. Through the USAIP’s website,, top U.S. companies including Access Partnership, Becton Dickinson, Cisco, Expedia, General Electric, Microsoft, Seagate, Procter & Gamble and others internships available at their offices across Southeast Asia. The website allows students to search for internships by country, company, and area of specialty.

Learn more.

In collaboration with ASEAN and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, supported by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), we launched the ASEAN SME Online Academy ( This one-stop resource links small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to regional and global supply chains and allows users to take courses on topics ranging from finance to technology.  Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft and MasterCard have contributed to the development of the academy’s coursework. A resources section links users to more than 300 business associations, corporate initiatives, financial services and government services. Learn more.

Together with Department of Commerce, we has continued to work alongside the U.S. private sector to strengthen the U.S.-ASEAN commercial relationship. Highlights include:

  • Setting up the U.S. Pavilion at Singapore International Water Week trade show in July 2016 in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the American Waterworks Association to promote U.S.-ASEAN trade.
  • Leading a water infrastructure trade mission to Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines in July 2016 to increase U.S. export opportunities to the ASEAN region.
  • Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Singapore to promote collaboration on infrastructure, financial technology (FinTech), e-commerce, and smart cities solutions in Southeast Asia and other third-party markets.
  • Promoting U.S.-ASEAN cooperation on standards at a regional conference on corrosion held by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) in Malaysia in August 2016.
  • Organizing a smart cities conference, Discover Global Markets: Building Smart Cities, in Chicago in November 2016 to promote U.S. export opportunities related to smart cities goods and services. The conference will highlight Singapore as a featured country.
  • Collaborating with the Singapore government on Singapore’s inaugural FinTech Festival in November 2016 to highlight U.S. technology and expertise, increase U.S.-ASEAN trade and investment in financial technology, and promote financial inclusion. Commerce will lead a FinTech Trade Mission to the festival.

EXIM will remain actively engaged on future opportunities to finance U.S. exports to Indonesia, Vietnam, and other nations of ASEAN particularly those exports that also support infrastructure development needs.  EXIM Bank reaffirms its interest in supporting U.S. exports for civil nuclear power projects in Vietnam.

  • Since 2009, authorizing over $800 million in loans, guarantees and insurance to support U.S. exports – from businesses large and small – to Vietnam. These exports have supported U.S.-Vietnam economic engagement across multiple sectors including renewable energy, aviation, and manufacturing.  These U.S. exports not only support thousands of jobs in the United States, but also create jobs and boost infrastructure investment in Vietnam.
  • Since 2014, authorizing over $2 billion in loans and guarantees to support U.S. exports of transportation equipment to Indonesia. These exports include locomotives and aircraft.

OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution focused on economic development in emerging markets through support for private sector investments which have U.S. private sector involvement.  OPIC is active primarily in the Business Connect and Energy Connect pillars, as demonstrated by projects, which have recently achieved major milestones.  Highlights include:

  • Making a $250 million loan to support telecommunications infrastructure in Myanmar: Apollo Myanmar is building an expansive network of telecom towers across the country to enable access to voice and data to millions in the country for the first time.
  • Making a $120 million loan to support renewable energy in Indonesia: UPC Sidrap Bayu Energi will develop, construct and operate a 75 MW wind farm in Sulawesi. OPIC’s support of the project – Indonesia’s first utility scale wind farm – is accelerating Indonesia’s renewable energy development and expected to catalyze further investment in the sector.
  • Providing $155 million of financing to support micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Cambodia: This financing – of which $30 million will be dedicated to women-owned MSMEs –will help ACLEDA Bank expand its portfolio of MSME lending in Cambodia. MSMEs play a critical part in Cambodia’s economy, providing growth, employment, and goods and services for a better quality of life across the population.