Following US President Barrack Obama’s recent visit to Asia, around 10 Southeast Asian countries have decided to expand investment and trade with America, according to word from the White House on November 19, 2012.

President Obama is visiting the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh for a regional summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), where the trade and investment processes will be started off.

According to the White House, the initiative known as the U.S-ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement aims at facilitating Asian countries to play an effective role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will see the Western world forming trade agreements with 10 Asian nations.

There are many US-based businesses which are looking to the economically rich Asian markets and this initiative could see Washington play an important role in this complex trade culture. The US is looking to establish the TPP’s presence along the lines of a similar alliance between other countries in the region including India and China, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The general consensus is that the RCEP is not as ambitious as what the TPP could strategize; as a result of this many countries might sideline the RCEP in favor of the TPP.

Currently the members of ASEAN are Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Brunei.


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