PRESS RELEASE: The East-West Center Releases Newest Edition of ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN Publication
Contact: Caitlin Brophy
Phone: (202) 327-9757
The latest ASEAN Matters publication , a part of East-West Center's Asia Matters for America initiative, highlights the increasing ties between the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 23, 2019) - The East-West Center (EWC) , in collaboration with the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) and the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute , released the 4th edition of the ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN publication today, which can be accessed here .
This publication, a part of the EWC’s Asia Matters for America initiative, highlights the increasing ties between the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The publication features graphics, data, and analysis of a range of information on the U.S.-ASEAN relationship, including the strategic partnership, trade, investment, jobs, travel and tourism, educational exchanges, ASEAN American population information, and sister city partnerships. It also highlights the economic and commercial potential of the region through statistics on economic and demographic growth, expanding infrastructure needs, and the rise of a digital economy.

The 10 member states of ASEAN formed the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 and, when taken as a whole, ASEAN has the 3rd largest population in the world, the 5th largest GDP, and is the 4th largest export market for the United States. Over half a million U.S. jobs are supported by exports to ASEAN. Tourists from ASEAN number over 4 million in a year and contribute $5 billion to the U.S. economy annually. An additional 60,000 students from the region contribute over $2 billion a year to the U.S. economy. ASEAN’s middle class is set to double to 334 million by 2030. The region is also the world’s fastest-growing internet market with a digital economy to exceed $240 billion by 2025.

“The East-West Center in Washington is delighted to partner with the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) and the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute on the latest edition of ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN ,” said Dr. Satu Limaye, Vice President and Director of the East-West Center in Washington. “The publication and website are key resources for appreciating the mutual importance of commercial, security, civil society ties at the national and local levels. In an Indo-Pacific era, U.S.-ASEAN relations are central to ensuring prosperity and peace, and the East-West Center values its mission and partnerships to promote education, exchange, and research to advance U.S.-ASEAN ties.”
“The latest findings presented in ASEAN Matters for America confirm the depth and significance of the U.S.-ASEAN relationship, as does the fact that our membership of leading U.S. firms engaged in ASEAN has almost doubled in the last decade to reach an all-time high,” said Alexander C. Feldman, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council. “This year’s ASEAN Matters continues to reinforce the importance of diplomatic, economic, and security partnerships between the U.S. and ASEAN, and our members continue to serve a key function in supporting these important ties. The demographic dividend and ASEAN’s young population, with almost 60 percent under age 35, will continue to propel the region’s growth into the next decade and beyond. ASEAN Matters clearly demonstrates that the future of American business is firmly in ASEAN.”
“It is in the U.S.’ interest to enhance its engagement with countries in the Indo-Pacific region across the full spectrum, including trade, diplomacy, security, and people-to-people relations, in order to ensure its continuing economic prosperity and safeguard its strategic goals,” said Shing-Kwok Choi, Director of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. “It is also evident from the information presented in this publication that a strong, dynamic, and stable ASEAN-U.S. partnership will serve as one of the pillars of a free, open, inclusive, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”

As a comprehensive resource providing key statistics, infographics, news, and analysis on U.S.-ASEAN relations, the ASEAN Matters for America website is widely used by policy makers, trade groups, academia, journalists, students and more. A reception will be held on Capitol Hill this evening to celebrate the launch of the 4th edition of ASEAN Matters for America. The ASEAN Matters for America project is a joint effort of the East-West Center, the US-ASEAN Business Council, and the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, and was made possible by the generous support of 3M, AIG, Chevron, Citi, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, Google, HP Inc., MSD, Oracle, UL, and Visa.
About the Asia Matters for America Initiative
The East-West Center's Asia Matters for America initiative, maps the trade, investment, employment, business, diplomacy, security, education, tourism, and people-to-people connections between the United States and the Indo-Pacific at the national, state, and local levels. This website, publication, and one-page summaries for states and congressional districts are resources for understanding the robust and dynamic U.S.-Indo-Pacific relationship. The initiative was created in 2008 and has produced 16 publications, thousands of one-page connections summaries for U.S. states and congressional districts, and over 150 data visualizations on the initiative’s website:
About the East-West Center
The East-West Center promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1960, the Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options. The Center is an independent, public, nonprofit organization with funding from the U.S. government, and additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments in the region. The Center’s Washington, D.C. office focuses on preparing the United States for an era of growing Asia Pacific prominence.
About the US-ASEAN Business Council
For 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.
About the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute
The ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute (formerly Institute of Southeast Asian Studies) is an autonomous organization established in 1968. It is a regional centre dedicated to the study of socio-political, security, and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia and its wider geostrategic and economic environment. The Institute’s research programmes are grouped under Regional Economic Studies (RES), Regional Strategic and Political Studies (RSPS), and Regional Social and Cultural Studies (RSCS). The Institute is also home to the ASEAN Studies Centre (ASC), the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC) and the Singapore APEC Study Centre.


For more information on the 4th edition of the ASEAN Matters for America publication, please visit our website or contact Caitlin Brophy at (202) 327-9757 or