In what would seem like a continued growing partnership between Southeast Asian countries and the US, leaders from ASEAN and United States President Barack Obama gathered together on Monday at the California Summit to discuss trade between the two mega economic regions.

During his tenure, that will be ending next year, the President continued to extend support to the Association of South East Asian countries and confirm that the Western superpower is a supporter to the Far East region, helping improve economic standing and ties between the two.

It is believed that since 2008, companies owned in the United States have more than doubled their investment in the region.

The main focus of the meeting was to continue current pacts and strengthen ties and part of the discussion was the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that currently includes four ASEAN countries – Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia. It seems that more countries would like to join in the deal as both ends benefit immensely – Southeast Asian countries confirm their position on the global economic scale and the United States will cement its presence in the region.

On Tuesday, the two parties will be ready to discuss another important issue – maritime woes. Obama is set to give a warning to Asian dominant China over the South China Sea dispute. Sources have said that China is pressuring Laos and Cambodia to refrain from signing the pact.

Another important issue to be discussed is one that has been brought to the front by international pressure group the Human Rights Watch about human rights violations in Asian countries like Cambodia and Thailand. This sensitive issue was touched upon, though not in detail. It seems that Obama is more focused on economic issues this time around, as he makes his last efforts before stepping down and handing over the reigns.

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