Andrew Edlefsen is the Director of the Las Vegas U.S. Export Assistance Center and currently serves as Global Asia Team Leader. He has been with ITA for eight years.
I’m very excited to announce the launch of the new, ASEAN website as part of Export.gov. Developed by the U.S. Commercial Service in Bangkok, the site highlights trade opportunities in the 10 ASEAN countries: Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The site serves as a valuable resource for U.S. companies exploring business opportunities in the region.
Located in the heart of the Asia-Pacific region, the ASEAN countries are composed of vastly different markets and economies, each possessing their own unique challenges, but all of which hold huge potential for U.S. exporters in a myriad of industry sectors. Highly notable is the region’s 626 million population and $2.4 trillion economy, which has grown 300 percent since 2001, making it the second fastest growing Asian economy after China. A proven U.S. export destination, ASEAN countries, taken together, rank 4th after Canada, Mexico and China as a goods export market for the United States, and the United States is the third largest trading partner for ASEAN. In 2013, U.S. exports to the ASEAN countries ($79 billion) accounted for 5 percent of overall U.S. exports while U.S. goods and services exports to ASEAN supported an estimated 499,000 jobs (365,000 from goods exports and 134,000 from services exports).
The top ASEAN export markets for U.S. originating goods in 2014 were Singapore ($30.5 billion), Malaysia ($13.1 billion), Thailand ($11.8 billion), Philippines ($8.5 billion), Indonesia ($8.3 billion) and Vietnam ($5.7 billion) with the top export prospects including aerospace, energy, infrastructure, medical equipment, environmental technologies, and franchising.
ASEAN is moving toward economic integration, with the goal of creating an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015. The AEC will build on the existing ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) to establish a single market and production base that allows for the free movement of goods, services, and skilled labor. It will also allow for a more open flow of capital and investment, thus increasing its appeal as one of the world’s most attractive consumer markets.
The U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service has a strong presence in the ASEAN region, with offices in Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, which provide direct counseling and assistance to U.S. companies doing business in these markets. The ASEAN Commercial Service office, headed by Regional Senior Commercial Officer Margaret Hanson-Muse, is located in Singapore.
Be sure to visit www.export.gov/asean and take advantage of this amazing resource!