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USA to launch new initiatives to expand Indo-Pacific economic engagement

02 August 2018

"These funds represent just a down payment on a new era in USA economic commitment to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region", he added.

Expanding energy commerce by growing foreign energy markets, expanding public-private partnerships, and fostering business-to-business connections.

To burn brightest, this constellation needs the fuel of innovation and sustainable growth, he had said, adding that this is what America's Indo-Pacific strategy will promote. Asia EDGE will also catalyze private capital by partnering with firms and global financial institutions on pooled finance, insurance and risk mitigation, commercial advocacy, and project development, the state department said.

A new initiative with a seeding of US$30 million is being kick-started to offer partners technical assistance as well as access to private legal and financial advisory services.

The secretary of state will travel to Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia this week, in an effort to jumpstart the new us initiative.

On Saturday in Singapore, he will meet foreign ministers of East Asia Summit member states - Asean plus Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, South Korea and Russian Federation.

While Pompeo stressed that the program did not intend to compete with China's Belt and Road Initiative, his speech spoke to several criticisms levied at Beijing's investments.

"The Indo-Pacific is an absolute priority of USA policymakers in the executive branch and in Congress", Brian Hook, Pompeo's senior policy advisor, told journalists in a conference call.

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The forum will introduce the economic and commercial elements of the US' whole-of-government Indo-Pacific strategy and will include participation from senior administration officials, private sector and officials representing Indo-Pacific nations. And while he spoke about leveraging these initiatives with U.S. allies and partners in the region, he said little about what Washington would pursue, with whom, and where. "And that is what will advance American commercial interests and meet the needs of our partners in the Indo-Pacific".

The Indo-Pacific is a huge region, stretching from the west coast of the United States to the west coast of India, as Pompeo put it.

"We'll have contracts that are open and transparent".

That will mean it will operate in different ways to established funds such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, he said. "We know that India is a very important market for the countries of Asia and we want to support that greater collaboration in the region", she said.

Responding to a question on countries who have been part of the OBOR projects, Pompeo said some of the countries who have engaged in that find themselves in a place that they are not happy about.

"While we work with our partners to craft better and higher-standard bilateral trade agreements, our companies are continuing to advance USA economic interests by growing their presence in the region", Pompeo said.

"Access Asia" is a series of 25 trade promotion outreach events in cities across the U.S. that is sequential, multi-year, data and opportunity driven, and optimises USA government resources, it said.

USA to launch new initiatives to expand Indo-Pacific economic engagement