The ASEAN Matters for America project, which launched a new series of US-ASEAN data and analysis on Capitol Hill in April 2014, visited Memphis, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois this May, beginning the national outreach of the project. The visits were made possible as part of the 2014 ASEAN Ambassadors Tour, a program conducted by the US-ASEAN Business Council in which Ambassadors to the United States of the ASEAN countries visit American cities to discuss the importance of ASEAN and opportunities there for American companies, universities, other organizations, and individuals.
The US-ASEAN Business Council, along with the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies and the East-West Center are partners in the ASEAN Matters for America project. Ambassadors and embassy staff of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam participated in the 2014 ASEAN Ambassadors Tour.
In Memphis, Tennessee, ASEAN Matters was shared and discussed with Memphis-area institutions such as FedEx, the Greater Memphis Chamber, the University of Memphis, the Office of the Mayor of Shelby County and the Office of the Mayor of Memphis. Both Mayor A.C. Wharton, Jr. (Memphis) and Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr. (Shelby County), engaged in discussion on how US local governments are increasingly engaging with international partners and are eager for useful information such as ASEAN Matters.
In Chicago, Illinois, the ASEAN Ambassadors Tour and ASEAN Matters held dialogues with the Office of the Mayor of Schaumburg, IL, Motorola Solutions, the University of Chicago, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Chicago, Northwestern University and UL. Mayor Al Larson (Schaumburg, IL) talked with the ASEAN Ambassadors about how local jurisdictions are equipping themselves to accommodate the investment and business climate needs of foreign investors. Deputy Mayor Steven Koch (City of Chicago), who discussed his time working in the Philippines, discussed ASEAN’s connections with Chicago and with Illinois, several points of which were elucidated in the ASEAN Matters publications.