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US eyes 'explosive' trade growth with Asean

Published on Aug 30, 2012 8:20 PM

PHNOM PENH (AFP) - Washington's top trade official on Thursday said he saw "explosive" growth opportunities within South-east Asia, as the US pushed on with a drive to deepen ties with the dynamic region.

US trade representative Ron Kirk spoke of mutually beneficial opportunities as he met with economic ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in the Cambodian tourist hub of Siem Reap.

"We do think that there is explosive room for growth in the trade and investment relationship," he said.

The 10-member Asean bloc is the United States' fourth-largest trading partner. Trade between the two topped US$198 billion (S$247.9 billion) in 2011, up from US$186 billion the year before, according to Asean data.

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