Greenberg takes helm at US-Asean council
The US-Asean Business Council has welcomed Evan Greenberg, chief of ACE and a veteran of business in Southeast Asia, as its new chairman at a time when US corporations are seeking a greater presence in the region."I am pleased to assume the role as chair of the council board," Greenberg said yesterday.
"Asean is an important and dynamic part of the world. I look forward to working with the council members toward our goal of supporting Asean economic development with greater US business presence, trade and investment."
The council represents more than 125 major US corporations, ranging from those that have been active in Southeast Asia for more than 100 years to newcomers looking to expand in one of the world's most dynamic markets.
On January 1, Greenberg succeeded George Kirkland, executive vice president for upstream and gas and vice chairman of Chevron Corporation.
Greenberg was elected to a two-year term.
ACE is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is a component of the S&P 500 Index. It is the parent of ACE Group, one of the world's largest multiline property and casualty insurers with operations in 53 countries including Thailand.
Besides taking the helm of ACE in 2003, Greenberg also serves on the board of organisations including Coca-Cola Company, the National Committee on United States-China Relations and the US-China Business Council.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Centre for the National Interest and the Business Roundtable. He is an overseer of the International Rescue Committee.
While visiting Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia in November, US President Barack Obama did not hide his enthusiasm to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties with the region, amid increasing domination by China.
Alexander Feldman, president of the US-Asean Business Council, said the organisation is fortunate to have Greenberg as the new chairman.
Decades of experience
"He leads a company that is very active and successful in Asean. Greenberg has decades of experience in Southeast Asia and is focused on further developing the economic relationship between the United States and Asean.
"This is a crucial time for the US business relationship with Asean. The US government has substantially expanded its relationship with Asean over the last four years by acceding to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, appointing the first resident ambassador to Asean based in Jakarta, arranging events like the US-Asean Business Forum, and formalising the US-Asean leaders meeting and US participation in the East Asia Summit as annual events.
"We look forward to Greenberg's leadership in expanding the work that the council is doing to support US ties with Asean and continuing to be partners in Asean's important economic initiatives, such as the Asean Economic Community and the Asean Single Window."
In a statement released by the council's office in Washington, DC, the council also said it will establish a chairman's policy committee to assist the chairman in the development of the council's priorities and positions in advocating for increased two-way trade and investment.
The committee is composed of individuals with collectively more than a century of experience in the region including three individuals who have served as US ambassadors to countries in Asean.
"We see great prospects in Asean, and the chairman's policy committee will help ensure that we are fully taking advantage of the opportunities before us," Feldman said.
"We look forward to Greenberg's chairmanship and are excited about the years ahead."
The council's sectoral working groups, including customs, defence and security, energy, financial services, food and agriculture, health and life sciences, information and communications technology, and infrastructure bring together the pre-eminent companies in their fields to enable high-level dialogues that help resolve issues and drive innovation and investment.
With long-established personal and professional relationships in Asean and Washington, the council is the most effective conduit for decision-makers on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.