In recent years, Southeast Asia has experienced stunning growth and transformation, increasingly offering not just a platform for exports but also robust domestic markets.
• Indonesia is the fourth-largest country and the largest Muslim country in the world and an anchor for ASEAN.
• Thailand, despite recent turbulence, has long been a regional center for trade and investment.
• The Philippines has long been a magnet for US investment.
• Malaysia is an influential market whose rule of law and increasing transparency are highly attractive, and a signatory to the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation.
• Vietnam, still an emerging economy, is a vibrant market that presents exciting opportunities for savvy investors. Vietnam is also a party to the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership, raising the prominence and potential of this country of approximately 90 million people.
• Myanmar, shaking off half a century of isolation and repression, holds out the promise of a new market of 50 million potential customers.
Multilateral organizations such as ASEAN and APEC play a leading role in Southeast Asia. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, once ratified, will help determine the region’s future. Southeast Asia is home to 625 million people, and the Southeast Asian countries’ combined nominal GDP has grown to more than $2.6 trillion. If ASEAN were a single entity, it would rank as the seventh largest economy in the world, behind the US, China, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Navigating these markets requires a keen understanding of the dynamic interplay between the very different countries of the region.
Our Southeast Asia team includes seasoned former American and foreign diplomats who have lived in the region for decades and command Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Vietnamese, and Thai. Our Washington leadership team is ably supported by associates in Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
HELPING CLIENTS SUCCEED
Assisting Investment: We enabled an iconic American company to successfully build a $250 million production facility in Malaysia for export throughout the region as well as to South Asia and the Middle East. Our work included obtaining meaningful incentives from the host government and establishing a local government-relations capacity, which we continue to support.
Market Entry: We helped a global energy company in a successful bid to provide bridging power to Myanmar (Burma). Our assistance included a coordinated advocacy strategy in Washington and in Yangon (Rangoon). This was a precedent-setting win in a complicated and emerging commercial environment.
Resolving Disputes: We helped a major tourism industry client resolve complicated labor issues in Indonesia.
Our Southeast Asia Team
John D. Negroponte is a former Deputy Secretary of State and US Ambassador to the Philippines, with diplomatic postings in Vietnam and Hong Kong.
James Keith was US Ambassador to Malaysia. He grew up in Indonesia and served a tour of duty at the US embassy in Jakarta.
Thomas C. Hubbard was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia, US Ambassador to the Philippines, Chargé d’Affaires in Malaysia, and a presidential envoy to Burma.
Robert O. Blake, Jr. was Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia and Deputy Chief of Mission in India. He was also US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia.
Angeline Thangaperakasam is a former foreign service officer in the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Manager at the US-ASEAN Business Council.
Christopher LaFleur was US Ambassador to Malaysia and Director of the State Department’s Office of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
William H. Itoh was US Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand and served at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US Department of State.
Robert Fitts lives and teaches in Bangkok. He was US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea and Chargé d’Affaires in Manila, with postings in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Virginia B. Foote bases in Hanoi and is President of the U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council.
Mari Pangestu served as Indonesia’s Minister of Trade and later as the first Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, and is a prominent voice on trade and commercial matters throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Roberto R. Romulo was formerly Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and is currently Chairman of AIG Philippines Insurance based in Manila.