Bangkok, Thailand – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency today welcomed more than 1,000 business and government leaders for the 2019 Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF), taking place alongside the East Asia Summit. The USTDA-sponsored Forum is co-hosted by the U.S. and Thai governments, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, and the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
“For more than 25 years, USTDA has served as an essential partner to the Indo-Pacific region, providing the critical assistance and strategic planning needed to navigate infrastructure projects from concept to completion,” said Acting Director Thomas R. Hardy. “Hosting the Indo-Pacific Business Forum highlights our continued cooperation with the best of U.S. industry and reaffirms our commitment to the future of this vital part of the world.”
USTDA also announced a series of new commitments and initiatives that will deepen economic ties between the United States and the Indo-Pacific region:
- 5G Network Transformation in the Philippines: USTDA and PDLT Inc., the Philippines’ largest telecommunications company, signed a Letter of Intent to support the company’s transition to a 5G-ready network. USTDA intends to provide training and capacity building for technical and managerial staff to support the company’s deployment of next-generation digital technologies.
- Biocrude Technology Deployment in India: USTDA signed a grant with The Virgo Group, an engineering and services firm, to pilot Rapid Thermal Processing technology from U.S. company Envergent Technologies that will convert agricultural waste to biocrude in Punjab, India, reducing air pollution and creating new fuel sources.
- Launch of the U.S.-Southeast Asia Aviation Cooperation Program: USTDA, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. industry partners launched this program of technical assistance, training programs and events to address regional needs and showcase U.S. companies’ expertise.
- Release of the USTDA Indo-Pacific Resource Guide: The Guide highlights regional projects with significant U.S. export and commercial potential in the energy, transportation and information and communication technology sectors.
“This landmark grant agreement between PLDT and USTDA will enable us to fully utilize the cutting-edge technologies that Cisco will deploy to transform our fiber transmission network into a 5G-ready infrastructure,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This will definitely benefit the Philippines to adopt and deploy technologies in the next wave of digital innovation.”
“We are extremely grateful to the Government of India, Government of Punjab, USTDA, the U.S. Embassy in Delhi and our technical collaborators Honeywell U.S. in jointly working with us to overturn one of the most serious environmental challenges that India is currently facing,” said Kanav Monga, Managing Director of The Virgo Group.
The Forum was headlined by keynote speaker Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and panel discussions with EXIM Chairman Kimberly Reed, Under Secretary of State Keith Krach, OPIC Executive Vice President David Bohigian and USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick.