US-ASEAN Business Council Leads Mission to 11th Annual ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting 

(Luang Prabang) On April 2-5, the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) led a delegation of U.S. businesses to the 11th Annual Meeting of ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM) in Luang Prabang, Laos. The US-ABC delegation was led by the Chair of its Financial Services Committee, Catherine Simmons, Managing Director, Head of Government Affairs for Asia North & South and Australia at Citi, and Ambassador (ret.) Brian D. McFeeters, US-ABC Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director. 

In line with the priorities of the 11th AFMGM and with Laos’ ASEAN Chairmanship themes, US-ABC presented a whitepaper to the Ministers and Governors titled “Strengthening Connectivity for Resilient Financial Systems in Southeast Asia.” The Whitepaper provided recommendations in seven key areas critical to the financial sector namely infrastructure financing; digital innovation and infrastructure connectivity; financial data governance and interoperability; financial sector in digital economy framework agreement (DEFA); transition finance; ASEAN capital market development; and sustainable healthcare financing. ​ 

During the AFMGM’s special consultation session with the delegation, Ambassador McFeeters highlighted US-ABC’s efforts to support sustainable growth in ASEAN, "Strengthening connectivity and resiliency for financial systems in Southeast Asia requires a multifaceted approach. Embracing regulatory changes and reforms to unlock infrastructure financing and fostering investor-friendly environments are crucial steps. Additionally, promoting financial inclusion, adopting international standards, and ensuring cross-border data flow are key factors for sustainable growth and a greener future. This year I’m pleased that health sector companies joined this mission to emphasize sustainable healthcare financing solutions.” 

 “The US-ASEAN Business Council and its members are committed to partnering with ASEAN governments, in supporting sustainable resilient and inclusive economic growth. We aim to work closely with all stakeholders to support digital trade, finance, and sustainability efforts and build policy frameworks, align standards, and implement best practices to reduce barriers to trade. We are also focused on enhancing ASEAN’s competitiveness to attract investment, including supporting the development of the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement to enable the region to achieve its full potential” said Catherine Simmons, Managing Director, Head of Government Affairs for Asia North and South and Australia, at Citi. 

In addition to the annual plenary session with the AFMGM, the delegation also had bilateral engagements with the Ministers, Governors, and partner institutions to discuss mutual integration and investment interests. Throughout these engagements, members of the US-ABC delegation reaffirmed their commitment to being partners of ASEAN governments to strengthen financial stability across the region. 

Companies participating in the mission included Amazon Web Services, Citi, Johnson and Johnson, J.P. Morgan, Manulife Financial Corporation, Mastercard, Organon, S&P Global, and VISA. 


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About US-ASEAN Business Council

Since 1984, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for U.S. corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership of nearly 170 companies generates almost US$7 trillion in revenue and employs more than 14.5 million people.  Today our members include the largest U.S. companies conducting business in ASEAN and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for more than 100 years. The Council has nine offices around the globe, in Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; Singapore; and Yangon, Myanmar.


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