US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker are in Bali,Indonesia for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit of Pacific Rim nations.President Barack Obama was supposed to be a participant there as well,but political conflict in Washington is preventing him from attending.It is the third time since 2010 the president has had to cancel a trip to the region because of domestic concerns.
This is damaging America's reputation.The Jakarta Globe's Saturday edition depicts the president on its cover with the headline "Diminishing Superpower."There is a train of thought that says that China and Russia will fill the gap of the president's absence,reveling in the attention.If the US cannot manage its domestic affairs,how can it be a credible influence in the Asia Pacific?
John Rice,Vice Chairman of General Electric,said the general theme is,the US shutdown is disappointing,with a lot of unproductive rhetoric in Washington.American companies at the summit are disappointed the president is not here,but they also understand there are political issues at home.There are great leaders here:John Kerry and Penny Pritzker.
I think the US is showing commitment to Asia.We have to see what happens in the next couple of weeks and months,not just focus on one meeting the president missed.I'm optimistic about a resolution of the debt ceiling.Everyone knows how serious that would be.
The impacy of tapering is on exchange rates,but we can't make decisions based on currency moves that take place over six months.Companies like ours have to put capital and expertise on these infrastructure projects.We expect infrastrucutre requirements to go up an average of 15% over the next 5-10 years.Hundreds of millions of people need it.They want the same things you and I want.
We see health care deals and energy deals.If you don't have electricity,you can't provide for your people,Mr.Rice pointed out.*
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said it's about a diversifying relationship with the Asia-Pacific:an economic;national security;commercial relationship.American companies are eager to come to Asia,and there is tremendous receptivity by Asian economies to receive American business.*
Malaysia's state energy firm Petronas plans to build a 35 billion dollar liquid natural gas plant and pipeline in British Columbia to export shale gas.The terminal would be completed by 2018.*
The MSCI Asia Pacific index fell 0.84% in early Monday trading,on fears around the US budget impasse.*
Petronas Gas BHD(PTG:Bursa Malaysia)