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US Wants to be the Indo-Pacific Region’s “Economic Partner of Choice”



Gina Raimondo

Starting on Monday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will head a presidential trade and investment mission to the Philippines as part of the country’s efforts to strengthen its economic connections with the area.

While in the country on Monday and Tuesday, Raimondo intends to promote the Philippines as a vital hub for investment and regional supply chains in support of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy. Next, on a presidential export council mission, she will go to Thailand for two days of meetings.

Raimondo stated in an interview that the goal of the trip is to strengthen “our economic and commercial ties in the Indo-Pacific.” “We want to deepen our economic engagement in the Indo-Pacific, which is dynamic – some of the fastest growing, dynamic economies of the world,” Raimondo stated.

Under President Joe Biden and his counterpart Ferdinand Marcos Jr., security engagements between the Philippines and the United States have significantly increased. Both leaders are eager to counter what they perceive to be China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea and close to Taiwan.

According to Raimondo, she is frequently asked if the US is pressuring nations in the Indo-Pacific region to pick between China and the US.

“Absolutely not – but we want the United States to be the economic partner of choice,” Raimondo said. “For that to happen, we have to show up and show up in the country with money, with collaboration, and consistently show up.”

During an August trip to China, Raimondo met with Chinese leaders and emphasized the desire of American businesses to conduct business in China.

Executives from 22 companies, including United Airlines, Black & Veatch, Visa, EchoStar/DISH, United Parcel Service (UPS), Boston Consulting Group, KKR Asia Pacific, Bechtel, FedEx, Mastercard, and Microsoft, are part of the U.S. delegation visiting the Philippines, according to the White House.

United announced last week that it would begin operating new flights on July 31 from Tokyo-Narita to Cebu, Philippines. Raimondo expressed her hope that this week’s talks will set the foundation for upcoming commercial investments and that new announcements about U.S. investment in the Philippines will come this week.

During his visit to Thailand, Raimondo will concentrate on clean technology, artificial intelligence, supply chain resilience, and manufacturing. After meetings with IPEF partners in November, Raimondo will take part in a hybrid meeting of the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Ministerial in Bangkok.

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