Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu (C) at the event (Photo: VNA)
Vientiane (VNA) – ASEAN economic ministers hailed the US for its support for the bloc, during the consultations with the US Trade Representative held in Vientiane, Laos, on August 4.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu led a Vietnamese delegation to the event.

Ministers praised the US for continuing support for the ASEAN Single Window and facilitating small-and medium-sized enterprises.

The US has also helped the association develop information-technology, and telecommunications via a US Agency for International Development project on ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman welcomed the birth of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015, highlighting this as a milestone for regional economic integration.

Ministers hailed strides in ASEAN-US connectivity.

The US poured 12.2 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) into ASEAN in 2015, becoming the third biggest foreign investor in the association.

The Connect Centers in Jakarta (Indonesia), Singapore, and Bangkok (Thailand) to forge connectivity between ASEAN and the US will be put into operation in this September, which is expected to help the bloc realise the AEC’s integration target.

Ministers extolled achievements in implementing the Trade and Investment Framework Agreements, the Expanded Economic Engagement, and Good Regulatory Practices.

They also acknowledged progress in bilateral cooperation in information-technology and telecommunication services as well as the first forum on ASEAN-US environment and trade dialogue.

Participants discussed ASEAN’s proposal to enhance capacity for the bloc’s youngsters by enabling them to work for US companies.

The Consultations between ASEAN Economic Ministers and US Trade Representative shaped part of the 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers ' Meeting and related meetings in Laos.-VNA