Nov 17, 2012

Singapore - US committed to economic engagement in Asia-Pacific: Clinton

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SINGAPORE: The US has reiterated its commitment in its economic engagement with the Asia-Pacific region. This includes updating its foreign policy priorities to take economics more into account.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was speaking at the Singapore Management University during her official visit to Singapore.

Responding to threats will always be central to US foreign policy but it cannot be Washington's foreign policy, said Mrs Clinton, noting that the US had focused "enormous" time, resources and attention on two wars in the last decade.

Mrs Clinton said Washington has to seize opportunities that will shore up its strengths in the years to come. That means following through in intensified engagement in the Asia-Pacific and elevating the role of economics in its work around the world.

During her 30-minute speech, Mrs Clinton stressed the importance of economic engagement, especially in Asia. She said US President Barrack Obama's visit to the region for a series of government-level meetings over the next few days so soon after his re-election underscores this priority.

Mrs Clinton also touched on the importance of finding ways to tap economic solutions for strategic challenges.

Citing Myanmar as an example, she said the cost of economic sanctions and the benefits of rejoining the global economy helped spur the government to begin opening up.

The other areas of priority include boosting US exports, opening new markets, levelling the playing field for its businesses and building diplomatic capacity to achieve its agenda.

Mrs Clinton said the US is shaping its foreign policy to account for both the economics of power and the power of economics.


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