U.S to enhance economic engagement with Pakistan and other ASEAN countries

RANCHO MIRAGE: U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled here on Tuesday a new initiative to promote economic ties with Pakistan and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The initiative, called U.S.-ASEAN Connect, is designed to set up a network of hubs across the region to connect more entrepreneurs, investors and businesses between the two sides, Obama said at a press conference at the end of a two-day meeting with ASEAN leaders.

“We agreed to do more together to encourage the entrepreneurship and innovation that are at the heart of modern competitive economies,” Obama said.

Obama discussed the initiative with ASEAN leaders on Monday during a session on economic cooperation between the two sides.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the U.S. and ASEAN countries stressed the importance of pursuing policies that foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

The gathering of U.S. and ASEAN leaders, the first of its kind on U.S. soil, is part of Obama’s efforts to deepen what he called a “strong and enduring partnership.” The two sides forged a strategic partnership in Kuala Lumpur in November last year.

ASEAN consists of 10 Southeastern Asian countries including Pakistan. As the region’s economy grew, it’s interaction with world powers has also been increasing.


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