Asean, US open Manila meet on strengthening cooperation


According to the US Embassy in Manila, “the objective of the EPG is to recommend actions to the US and Asean leaders that will strengthen their relationship into the future.”

Manila on Monday played host to the inaugural meeting of the Asean-US Eminent Persons Group (EPG) in an effort to strengthen the growing cooperation between the United States and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

J. Stapleton Roy, former US Ambassador to Singapore, China and Indonesia and one of the three US delegates to the meeting, said in a statement that they “look forward to further deepening our current partnership and building a framework for continued growth in Asean-US relations, to contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in Southeast Asia and the broader East Asia region.”

Roy and former Ambassador Rodolfo Severino, the Philippines eminent person, cochaired the meeting.

Aside from Roy, the United States was  represented by Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky, a former US trade representative, and Muhtar Kent, chair and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company.

According to the US Embassy in Manila, “the objective of the EPG is to recommend actions to the US and Asean leaders that will strengthen their relationship into the future.”

The EPG meeting participants discussed “strategies in areas, such as improving development and cooperation in regional integration of Asean and review key elements of the US-Asean partnership, including opportunities to improve people-to-people ties, enhance trade and investment, deepen security cooperation and improve coordination in natural disasters, as well as respond to the global challenges of climate change, energy and food security,” the embassy noted.

Agenda points

For its part, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the EPG meeting, which it called a “recommendation of Asean-US leaders,” had the following agenda points:

Review Asean-US relations and recommend future actions, including opportunities to enhance cooperation on regional and global issues;

Strengthen cooperation and coordination in specific sectors, such as trade and investment, disaster response and energy security; and

Identify new steps for the effective implementation of the decisions of previous Asean-US leaders’ meetings and the Plan of Action to implement the Joint Declaration on Asean-US Enhanced Partnership.

On Tuesday, the Philippines will also host the 25th Asean-US dialogue, a regular meeting between Asean and US senior officials.

The meeting will be cochaired by Foreign Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda Basilio and Kurt Campbell, US State Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific.

They will join other senior officials of the Asean and the United States in exchanging views on regional and international developments, including preparations for the 4th Asean-US leaders’ meeting in November.

Aside from the Philippines, Asean also groups Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The Philippines is the country coordinator for Asean-US dialogue relations from 2009 to 2012.

The United States, on the other hand, has been a longstanding dialogue partner of the regional bloc since Washington established relations with the multilateral body in 1977.

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  • JK1000

    The U.S. presence in ASIA is so important to make sure China behaves well.  China is an evil empire that is planning to conquer some of it’s small neighbors like the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore. Thank You Uncle Sam

  • Ben

    I`d like to reiterate once again…..
    Spread to the world, why we should not buy China made products. Boycott it for every dollar they earn, they will use it to bully most of her neighbors, subject her citizenry to human rights violation like the Tiannamen square massacre, and their effort to start world war 3 by building a military to rival the US, their military rise is the free world`s own doing by their so called constructive engagement, we forgot that they have other things in mind now that Communist China is strong enough to flex her muscle.


    Let the world knows how their money is being used by the Communist China to bully her smaller neighbors!! Spread the word, ask your goverments to increase tariff for China made products to help reinforce pressure on China and let us source those things to other countries….slowly, but surely it will spread like a wild fire and people around the world will symphatize with us. Long live The Philippines, The US and all free world society!!!

    The US has now raised the ante by increasing her tariff of solar panels made in China soon there will be more, thanks for those who realized that the US is becoming a dumping ground of China’s products, the profits of which are used to fund her military to claim the territories of her surrounding neighbors and to deny access to the sole super power of the world and her allies.

    China may have used her economic pressure against us, but the US is also doing her share of economic pressure to them. Now, we must buy products NOT made in China to show our support of what is just, and against China`s insistence on defying the rule of law of the community of nations, and restrain China from being the bully of her neighbors and her citizenries…let us spread the word, NO to China made products!!!

    • Rolly_Silentwater

      Hi Ben, as much as i wanted to join the clamor to boycott Chinese products, i realized i might end up depriving my life of everything. Come to think of it, our children’s toys are made in china, Our appliances are all from China, our shoes, even our local brands put up their factories in china so if you take a look at their seals, they are locals but made in china. Our cellular phones are made in china, the laptop that im working on now is also made by a chinkies. You see? we are not going anywhere but to settle with things made in china…The best thing that we can do now is forget America and be friend with China..Anyway, america is just make fooling us, imagine giving you a ship with for China’s target practice. Another thing, our presidents spare parts were all made in CHina, he was just assembled in the Philippines

      • Ben

        One has to start somewhere, once you think less of what you can do, then that is what you can only do, you condition yourself. Unlimit yourself, from now on, buy any other brand just as long it is not made in China label, good luck to you…patriotism or economics you are free to choose, but in the end it is still our country`s welfare at stake in here, including the future of our children if they will stay in the Philippines :)

    • kiramgm

      abolish Retail Trade Liberalization Law first before you boycott…yan nagparami ng red expats para mag business locally….Pinapatay nito local negosyo ng local pinoy at tsinoy..

      • Ben

        Well, I think that is the problem of liberalization…. expat Chinese are free to bring their capital here and they are welcome, now if they will source their brands in China mainland that is their predicament if they lose money. The trade liberalization law is fine and need not to be strict–we are in a Democracy, people are free to choose, and if they think they will suffer great hardship if they will boycott Chinese mainland products then that is their choice. My choice is to let Filipinos think the various options that they have, but just remember the country needs us in this just endeavor, to show China that we can live without them and can`t be affected by any of their economic punishment…that we can stand up against their so called giant status.

  • kiramgm

    Return the US Bases in zambales/pampanga…shoal problems will collapse drastically…eveytime US plane fly, they always pass by the panatag which will lead to non-occupation by reds in shoal peacefully

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