Joe Biden

Remarks at the United States-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

November 12, 2022

It's wonderful that we can gather with all of you again. This is my third U.S.-ASEAN summit of my Presidency. And I was honored to host the White House—at the White House in May. And now that we are back together here in Cambodia, I look forward to building even stronger progress than we've already made.

And I want to thank the Prime Minister of—for Colombia's [Cambodia's; White House correction] leadership in the ASEAN—as ASEAN chair and for hosting all of us.

And also, I want to recognize that we're going to be in—all the work that Indonesia has done this year. Mr. President, thank you very much and—as the country coordinator—coordinator for the United States.

And in fact, this is, as I said, my third trip—my third summit—second in person. And it's testament to the importance the United States places on our relationship with ASEAN and our commitment to ASEAN's centrality. ASEAN is the heart of my administration's Indo-Pacific strategy, and we continue to strengthen our commitment to work in lockstep with an empowered, unified ASEAN.

Today we take another critical step: beginning a new era in our cooperation with the launch of the U.S.-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Together, we will tackle the biggest issues of our time, from climate to health security; defend against the significant threats of rule-based order—to rule-based order and to the—threats to the rule of law; and to build an Indo-Pacific that's free and open, stable and prosperous, resilient and secure.

And we're putting real resources behind our approach, not just rhetoric. Over the last year, my administration has announced more than $250 million in new initiatives with ASEAN. And for 2023, I've requested $850 million [$825 million; White House correction] in assistance for Southeast Asia. We're continuing to build on that progress, following through on our commitments and launching concrete new initiatives that further strengthen ASEAN and increase—increase—connectivity across Southeast Asia.

Though—through our new U.S.-ASEAN Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Initiative, we're going to work together to develop an integrated, electric vehicle ecosystem in Southeast Asia, enabling the region to pursue clean energy, economic development, and ambitious emissions reductions targets. Similarly, we're launching a U.S.-ASEAN Platform for Infrastructure and Connectivity to bring the benefits of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment to the ASEAN countries.

Through this platform, we'll develop projects together, based on the needs you identify, to create sustainable, high-standard infrastructure that supports the people of the region. We will build a better future—the better future we all say we want to see and we're going to see for all, but—all 1 billion people in our countries.

We'll also discuss Russia's brutal war against Ukraine and our efforts to address the war's global impacts, including in Southeast Asia.

So I look forward—I look forward to continuing our work together with the ASEAN and with each one of you to deepen peace and prosperity throughout the region, to resolve challenges from the South China Sea to Myanmar, and to find innovative new solutions to shared challenges.

Thank you again for the 45 years of partnership between ASEAN and the United States and for all that we can accomplish together. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 5:24 p.m. at the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel and Residence. In his remarks, he referred to Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia; and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo of Indonesia.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks at the United States-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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