Mr. Pence will deliver a key speech on Nov 17 at the APEC CEO summit in Papua New Guinea, “a deep and broad speech that will talk both about the regional architecture and the vision of the Indo-Pacific from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.”
“It will also talk tangibly, and announce many different things, on the economic front, including some of our partnerships. That question, what is the Indo Pacific, and how does it help Asia, how does it help ASEAN… will come into really sharp focus and answer some of the questions that are out there.”
At the ASEAN Summit, Nov 11-15, In Singapore, “we’ll be talking not only more about the Indo-Pacific strategy and putting some sort of meat on the security as well as the economic portions of it, but again talking to our friends, our partners, our allies about North Korea, and about the South China Sea both openly and behind closed doors,” the senior official said.
Mr Pence will talk of common work on counter terrorism, cyber security and many other aspects of cyber including smart cities.
“This will be more about what we can do for the economies of the region; how the American private sector driven model which is not a state run model… brings prosperity, not only to America but to the Indo-Pacific.”
In an op-ed in the Washington Post,Mr. Pence wrote, “We seek an Indo-Pacific — from the United States to India, from Japan to Australia, and everywhere in between — where sovereignty is respected, where commerce flows unhindered and where independent nations are masters of their own destinies. This region, which includes more than half of Earth’s surface and population, has experienced great progress when these principles have been respected. While some nations now seek to undermine this foundation, the United States is taking decisive action to protect our interests and promote the Indo-Pacific’s shared success.
“Our Indo-Pacific strategy rests on three broad pillars. It begins with prosperity. A full two-thirds of global trade traverses the seas, skies, roads and railways of the Indo-Pacific. U.S. trade in the region is worth more than $1.8 trillion annually, supporting more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs, and our total regional investment in the Indo-Pacific is nearly $1 trillion — more than China, Japan and South Korea’s investment combined.
“The opportunity for growth is boundless. By as early as 2020, the Indo-Pacific will be home to 40 percent of the world’s middle class, unlocking untold potential for U.S. workers, farmers and job creators to export their goods to these large and growing markets.
“That’s why our administration has forged new bilateral trade deals that are free, fair and reciprocal. Our administration has already reached a new trade pact with South Korea and another with Mexico and Canada. We will soon begin negotiations for a historic trade agreement with Japan, the world’s third-largest economy.
“Beyond trade, the United States will continue to facilitate greater investment in the Indo-Pacific. Businesses, not bureaucrats, will drive our efforts, because governments and state-owned enterprises are incapable of building lasting prosperity.
“To spur renewed private investment in regional infrastructure, President Trump recently signed the Build Act into law, expands U.S. development finance capacity to $60 billion.Our nation is committed to helping the region build world-class ports and airports, roads and railways, and pipelines and data lines. We will only support projects that produce tangible benefits for the host country as well as our own.
“Over the course of this week, our delegation will participate in the U.S.-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit , the East Asia Summit and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting . We will announce new deals and initiatives, many with significant financial backing from U.S. taxpayers and our business community. And we will reiterate the president’s pledge of renewed partnership. The United States will work with like-minded nations — from India to the Pacific islands — to advance our shared interests.”
Sources, and Read More …
“Most of ASEAN’s growth has been, and will continue to be, driven by urban centres, with 90 million more people expected to urbanise by 2030 and “middleweight” cities of between 200,000 and 2 million residents forecast to drive 40% of the region’s growth.1 However, this rapid urbanisation is not without its challenges as it has implications on important issues such as city congestion, water/air quality, poverty, rising inequalities, urban-rural divide, citizen security and safety. Technological and digital solutions can be utilised to resolve these issues and to enhance quality and accessibility of services, thereby improving our citizens’ lives across the urban-rural continuum, creating new opportunities for them and helping ensure that no one is left behind. Download the full document here
ASEAN has received almost $274 billion in cumulative investment from the United States, more than the US has directed to China, India, Japan, and South Korea combined. US FDI in ASEAN has increased by an average annual rate of 12% since 2004 and now accounts for over a third of US investment into Asia.
The emerging middle class in developing countries, Homi Kharas, Brookings Institute, Washington DC, Jan 2010
Vietnam’s middle class set to double by 2020, Boston Consulting Group, Dec 17, 2013