Economic issues were also at the forefront of our engagement with the Asia-Pacific region in 2012, particularly fostering economic integration and open markets. On March 15, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement -- the largest U.S. FTA in nearly two decades -- entered into force. This historic agreement is expected to increase goods exports by billions of dollars annually for both sides, supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in both countries. At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) annual meetings, we achieved an historic agreement with our partners on trade in environmental goods that will foster green growth in the region. We stepped up negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will enhance trade and investment and reduce barriers to economic growth. To support capacity building and technical assistance to ASEAN members, President Obama launched the Expanded Economic Engagement Initiative (E3) at the U.S.-ASEAN Leaders Meeting in November. President Obama also announced the U.S.-Asia-Pacific Comprehensive Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future, which will provide technical assistance and financing to support sustainable development.
The U.S. government has long supported exchanges between Americans and the people of Asia-Pacific. In fact, we have been conducting people-to-people exchanges with countries in the region for more than 60 years, and the total number of exchange alumni from the Asia-Pacific region is second only to Europe. Our premier educational exchange program, Fulbright, expanded with new U.S.-ASEAN scholarships, and the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) brought current and emerging leaders from across the East Asia Pacific region to the United States to meet with their professional counterparts. We partnered with the Government of Brunei on the Brunei-U.S. English Language Enrichment Project for ASEAN to develop English language skills among government officials and teacher-trainers throughout ASEAN. In Japan, the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership dedicated to promoting U.S.-Japan ties among youth, brought hundreds of students from the tsunami-devastated Tohoku region for summer study in the U.S. We also marked the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees to Washington, D.C. with our own "Friendship Blossoms," a gift of 3,000 dogwood trees to Japan. In support of enhancing people-to-people contact with Burma, we supported a basketball exchange program, the first sports program with Burma in 50 years, and sent experts to help the Burmese government draft a new media law as part of their reform process. We convened the first LMI Alumni Enrichment Conference and the first ASEAN Youth Leaders Summit. At the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu, Korea, over one million people visited the USA Pavilion which showcased America's commitment to sustainable environmental practices and our respect for the natural environment.
As Secretary Clinton has said, "This is America's Pacific century." By building on the strong foundation of our historic political, economic, and social ties, we hope to make it a century of peace and shared prosperity.