CARI Roundtable with US ASEAN Senior Advisor H.E. Larry Dinger
Dato’ Sandra Wong – Executive Director, Mediharta
Mr. Gurdip S. Singh – Senior Managing Director, Head of Strategy and Business Development, CIMB
Ms. Kate Nanavatty – Political Officer, US Embassy in Malaysia
Mr. Lu Zhou – Economic Officer, US Embassy in Malaysia
Mr. Ravindran Palaniappan – Senior Director, ASEAN Economic Cooperation, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI)
Ms. Natasha Zulkifli – Land Public Transportation Commission (SPAD)
The theme for discussion was the US-ASEAN partnership, challenges facing US-ASEAN relations and how the relationship could be improved. In the context of US-ASEAN partnership, trade agreements and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) were discussed. In addition to the TPP, the US-ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement (E3) was highlighted during the discussions. The focus of the conversation then shifted to the US rebalancing towards Asia and its impact on regional security. Discussants then proceeded to talk about various issues that the US and ASEAN were cooperating on, namely climate change, human and wildlife trafficking, human rights issues and maritime security. H.E. Dinger noted that while there has been some progress in these areas, there are many areas for improvement. The other discussants agreed on this and went further by saying the US should be playing a more prominent role in Southeast Asia. To top it all off, issues related to ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) were discussed and H.E. Dinger expressed the White House’s enthusiasm for it and would offer its support if needed.