US firms bullish on Asean despite TPP exit
- 12 Sep 2017 at 15:22
- WRITER: BLOOMBERG NEWS
The logo of Indonesia's central bank, Bank Indonesia, is seen in Jakarta, Indonesia January 19, 2017. (Reuters file photo)
WASHINGTON: American business enthusiasm in Southeast Asia is bent but far from broken even as the region grapples with a new trade framework and less US government involvement, according to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.
80% of executives see their firms’ level of trade and investment in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, rising over the next five years, with just 3% seeing it decreasing. Respondents were most upbeat about Indonesia (92%) and Vietnam (86%). They’re optimistic about sales, too, with 56% expecting higher profits this year compared with 2016.
Even though the US pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a regional agreement that would’ve given Asian nations from Japan to Malaysia preferential access to the US -- the American business lobby group is encouraging the 11 remaining members to push ahead with the accord.