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18 May 2017

Mr. Patrick A. Chuasoto, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Philippine Embassy, delivers remarks at the launch of the publication and web resource, ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN, on 16 May 2017 at the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — “While ASEAN celebrates its 50th Founding Anniversary, we also look at the milestone we have reached with the 40th Anniversary of its Partnership with the United States.  It is an open and strategic partnership that aims to forge a common path towards a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Asia-Pacific region,” remarked Mr. Patrick Chuasoto, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Philippine Embassy, at the launch of ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN on 16 May 2017 at the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN is a publication and web resource “for credible and nonpartisan information, graphics, analysis, and news at the national, state, and local level on U.S.-Southeast Asia interactions.” It is a joint project by the East-West Center, US-ASEAN Business Council and ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

The publication offers information on the flow of trade and investments, and travel and tourism between ASEAN and the US. It also highlights the vibrant people-to-people ties between the two sides, as evidenced by the large number of ASEAN-Americans in the US, educational exchanges, and sister partnerships.

The Philippines, as Chair of ASEAN for 2017, seeks to enhance and leverage ASEAN’s relationship with the US in pursuit of the six thematic priorities that currently guide its Chairmanship.

“These themes frame the substantial issues that we wish to address – putting the interests of the peoples of ASEAN at the center of its work; high quality of life; enhancing an environment that is conducive to business; prioritizing health and improved nutrition; promoting peaceful co-existence; advancing work on maritime security; highlighting connectivity and innovation; building a disaster-resilient region; and strengthening ASEAN’s work and standing in the international arena,” said Mr. Chuasoto.

“The Philippines is fully committed to developing a people-centered ASEAN. Thus, we attach great importance to socio-cultural and educational exchanges among the peoples of ASEAN and the United States that support this goal,” he added.

Mr. Chuasoto further stressed this point by citing the fact that of all ASEAN countries, the Philippines has the most sister city relationships with the United States at 61. There is presently 92 sister cities and sister state or sister county connections between ASEAN countries and the US.

In his remarks, Mr. Chuasoto also highlighted the progress that the Philippines has made as ASEAN Chair, such as consolidating the members’ consensus in combating violent extremism, attaining maritime security and cooperation, and pursuing an innovation-led growth agenda.

ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN is available for download at http://www.asiamattersforamerica.org/asean. ###