Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton accompanied President Barack Obama to Bali, Indonesia, to attend the East Asia Summit and the U.S.-ASEAN Leaders Meeting. While in Bali, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks to the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit on November 18. Secretary Clinton said:
"...Now we, I think, each recognize that economic policy is foreign policy, and foreign policy is economic policy. And by strengthening the diplomacy and presence abroad, we can strengthen our economies back home, and actually, vice versa. And the United States recognizes that, so we are making a pivot, a pivot toward the Asia Pacific region, where we intend to be a diplomatic, economic, and strategic force for the 21st century.
"And it is especially important that we work toward the integration of the Asia-Pacific region, because the potential here matters more than ever, first and foremost to the people who live here, but indeed to those living across the globe. This region has the world's fastest rising economies, with GDP growth at an average of better than 6.5 percent a year despite the global slowdown. And with natural resources, untapped markets, a massive consumer base, and unlimited human potential, we expect that to continue to grow.
"But we still have more work to do between the United States and ASEAN countries. Trade between the United States and Southeast Asia has tripled over the past 20 years, but it is still just 6 percent of our global trade. And even though American investments in ASEAN countries more than doubled last year, we know we can do better.
"How do we grow together to maximize broad, inclusive, sustainable growth that provides real benefits for all of our people? Well, we have to start by insisting on economic competition that is open, free, transparent, and fair. That means taking on rules that prevent foreign investors from competing with local businesses to produce better goods and services. It means lowering trade barriers that stop the flow of ideas, information, products, and capital across borders. It means letting outside investors compete under the same rules as the inside players. And it makes it absolutely imperative that everyone knows what the rules are. When any of these principles are ignored, when people no longer believe they can trade, invest, create jobs, or improve their lives on an even playing field, then the absence of fairness undermines economic growth."
In closing, she said, "...It is time for those of us in positions of responsibility, in both the public and the private sector, to realize that it's not only smart economics to create broad-based prosperity that includes everyone, men and women, big companies, medium-sized and small, older and younger, everyone -- break down the barriers, open the doors, and watch what happens. And I don't think any region in the world will be more benefited than right here in the countries that comprise ASEAN."
You can read Secretary Clinton's complete remarks here.