Pompeo announces $113 mil. in new USA investments in 'Indo-Pacific'

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"While we work with our partners to craft better and higher standard bilateral trade agreements our companies are continuing to advance United States economic interest by growing their presence in the region".

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo took not-so-subtle digs at China in pitching USA commitment to a "free and open" Indo-Pacific region despite President Donald Trump's decision previous year to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

American assistance and investment in railways, ports, and other infrastructure helped create a foundation for our South Korean friends to recover, thrive, and build one of the world's great economies one that is now strong enough to aid other countries in their development, he said.

"As just one national example of what happens when countries engage with the United States, we see how Vietnam has risen", Pompeo said. Research institutions from the two countries and ASEAN have partnered to create a "vision document" for a myriad of initiatives they could jointly undertake for countries spanning the east coast of Africa through to Oceania.

Pompeo said the United States "will never seek domination in the Indo-Pacific", and that "we will oppose any country that does".

"It is an American vision that is deeply engaged in the region's economic, political, cultural, and security affairs".

"In all these areas - digital economy, energy, and infrastructure - we look forward to working with allies and partners", Pompeo added. We helped Hong Kong, Singapore, and other Southeast Asian economies rise from the '70s onward. Another advantage of the United States, he said, is that "we will help them keep their people free from coercion or great power domination".

"This trilateral partnership is in recognition that more support is needed to enhance peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region", Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Tuesday in an emailed statement.

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He explained that the first initiative is the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership.

The measures include a US$25 million initial investment to improve digital connectivity in partner countries and to expand opportunities for USA technology exports.

Among the new investments outlined by Pompeo, the United States will invest $25 million to expand USA technology exports to the region, add almost $50 million this year to help countries produce and store their energy resources and create a new assistance network to boost infrastructure development.

Third is infrastructure. The US is committed to connectivity that advances national sovereignty, regional integration, and trust.

The Infrastructure Transaction and Assistance Network will form an interagency body to coordinate efforts to assess projects, direct development finance, and give technical assistance.

Building on President Donald Trump's "Indo-Pacific" strategy, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced $113 million in new regional investments focused on technology, energy and infrastructure.

The $113m package of economic initiatives are a "down payment in peace" for the region and an apparent message for China.

"For that to happen, Indo-Pacific leaders must prioritize transparency, anti-corruption, and responsible financing".

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