A high-level delegation of ASEAN representatives, led by Brunei’s Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, visited the United States from June 10-14 to enhance the trade and investment relations between the bloc and one of its most important trade partners.

The visiting group comprised of Economic Ministers from Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines; Deputy Ministers from Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam; and senior officials from the ASEAN Secretariat.

During the visit, the delegation visited Los Angeles , San Francisco and Washington DC. They met with a number of multinational corporations (including Fox Studios, Covidien, Mattel and Google) and held consultations with representatives from the private sector, including venture capitalists. Part of their trip included a visit to the Port of Los Angeles, which is the main gateway for trade between ASEAN and the US.

The delegation was also introduced to top US government officials, including Acting Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro and Acting Secretary of Commerce Cameron Kerry. Members also spoke with politicians including Mayor of San Jose Chuck Reed and Congressman Devin Nunes

Lim Hong Hin, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) said that the group had gained better insight into the issues facing American investors after their interaction with the business community.

Hin added that members of the bloc remain committed to the timely realisation of the AEC by 2015, which will create a single market and production base for them to establish new or expand existing operations in the region.

The total trade between ASEAN and the US reached 198.8 billion USD in 2011, which made the US the fourth largest trading partner of ASEAN. It is also the third largest investor in the bloc after providing over 5.8 billion USD in 2011./.