Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Pompeo's Indo-Pacific strategy is just a start

State Pompeo hosts religious freedom summit at the State Department in Washington Pompeo's Indo-Pacific strategy is just a start
Charlie Simmons | 02 August, 2018, 13:49

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today said by a "free and open Indo-Pacific" the Trump Administration means all nations are able to protect their sovereignty from coercion and enjoy open access to the seas and airways in the region.

"This trilateral partnership is in recognition that more support is needed to enhance peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region", Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Tuesday in an emailed statement. "Where America goes, we seek partnership, not domination", he said.

Pompeo says despite withdrawing from the deal, American companies are continuing to advance US economic interests in the region.

The $113 million in assistance will clearly not scratch the surface of the financing needs in the Indo-Pacific region. American assistance and investment in railways, ports, and other infrastructure helped create a foundation for our South Korean friends to recover, thrive, and build one of the world's most prosperous economies - one that is now strong enough to aid other countries in their development.

"America will be there and American businesses will be there".

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week that tensions with China are a "chronic problem" that could take years to resolve.

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The United States Trade and Development Agency signed an agreement on new energy development in India, and launched a liquefied natural gas cooperation programme with Japan. Although under the BUILD Act that recently passed the House and is now before the Senate, the US government's development finance capacity would more than double to $60 billion dollars, that is far from enough for Indo-Pacific's needs, which is $26 trillion for infrastructure by the year 2030. We want the peaceful resolution of territorial and maritime disputes. "We hope they will bring in real money and put forward some concrete measures to promote the welfare of the local people in its real sense", Geng added. Addressing top US business leaders and foreign dignitaries at the US Chamber of Commerce, he emphasised the critical role of the US private sector in ensuring a sustainable, financially responsible economic future for the Indo-Pacific.

US President Donald Trump's economic strategy for Australia and the rest of the Indo-Pacific region will be unveiled at a major event in Washington DC.

The initiative will grow foreign energy markets and boost United States energy exports by expanding public-private partnerships, fostering business-to-business connections, and helping partner governments set market-based energy policies.

Pompeo said the United States will initially invest a Dollars 25 million to improve partner countries' digital connectivity and expand opportunities for USA technology exports.

"The US government's Indo-Pacific initiatives will be shaped by these values and buttressed by partnerships with American companies".

The US also announced strengthened support for important regional institutions, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Lower Mekong Initiative, and the Indian-Ocean Rim Association.

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