Remarks at the Opening of the U.S.-ASEAN Center
Today, in partnership with Arizona State University (ASU), the U.S. Department of State celebrated the opening of the U.S.-ASEAN Center in Washington, D.C. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Liz Allen delivered remarks to highlight the important event.
Announced by Vice President Kamala Harris during the 2023 U.S.-ASEAN Summit, the Center will serve as a hub for U.S.-ASEAN engagement and deepen this important relationship. The Center will do so by bolstering support for U.S. economic and cultural engagement with Southeast Asia and helping connect key private sector organizations, academic institutions, and civil society. Its activities will also strengthen the United States’ and ASEAN’s joint efforts to promote an open, connected, prosperous, resilient, and secure Indo-Pacific region.
Since the establishment of our dialogue partnership in 1977, the United States and ASEAN have built extensive cooperation in various areas under the political-security, economy, and socio-cultural pillars. The United States is the largest source of foreign direct investment in Southeast Asia, and more than 6,200 U.S. businesses have contributed to a record $520.3 billion in total trade between the United States and the nations of ASEAN in 2022, creating 625,000 jobs in all 50 states, and 1 million jobs throughout Southeast Asia. The close U.S.-ASEAN partnership is also reflected in the increasing people-to-people engagements for our combined one billion people, as well as the growing number of students from ASEAN countries in the United States.
Under Secretary Allen’s remarks highlighted our strong ties and the enduring strength of the U.S.-ASEAN relationship, including her work building people to people ties in Indonesia December 4-5. There she oversaw expansion of the Fulbright program to religious schools, advocated for increased student exchanges, and marked the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative’s first decade serving as the premier U.S. leadership and professional development program in the region. The Under Secretary also acknowledged the presence of several members of Congress who have authored and supported legislation aimed at supporting the U.S.-ASEAN Center.
The Department welcomed further remarks from ASU Chief Operating Officer Christopher B. Howard, Embassy of Indonesia Chargé d’affaires Ida Bagus Made Bimantara, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, and U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro.
The Department thanks ASU for its continued partnership and its longstanding commitment to academic programs and studies on issues in Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region. We look forward to further strengthening our partnership through our many programs, including the U.S.-ASEAN Center, for years to come.
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