Where Worlds Meet: Singapore’s View of the Asia Pacific Region and US Engagement


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When: Jun 17 2013 - 9:30am until Jun 17 2013 - 11:00am
Where: East-West Center in Washington: 1819 L St. NW, Suite 600. Washington, DC. 20036

Where Worlds Meet: Singapore’s View of the Asia Pacific Region and US Engagement

An Asia-Pacific Security Seminar Featuring:

Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri
Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States of America

Singapore's Ambassador to the United States, Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, spoke at an off-the-record program at the East-West Center in Washington.The Asia-Pacific region is increasingly integrating. The 12 member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) represent nearly 40% of the global economy and a third of world trade. This vision of regional economic integration will in turn promote regional development and stability. At the recent Shangri-La defense dialogues in Singapore, a recurring theme was the need to build and maintain strategic trust among the nations of the Asia-Pacific. This highlighted the present paradox of unprecedented regional cooperation at a time when strategic changes are taking place between the major powers of the region.

As an economic, cultural, and strategic crossroads, Singapore sits at the center of the opportunities and challenges of the emerging Pacific Century. It is a founding member of ASEAN and maintains friendly relations with its Asian neighbors. It is also a close partner of the US, with relations underpinned by free trade and strategic framework agreements.

In his off-the-record talk at the East-west Center in Washington, Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri gave his views of the current regional environment, particularly that of Southeast Asia, and of US engagement of the region. He explained Singapore's unique position of a small country with a large global interest in a dynamic region, and how this shapes its approaches to relations with its neighbors. The ambassador went on to discuss the various changes underway in regional power relations and their effects on economic and security issues. After discussing the US policy of rebalancing toward Asia, he characterized the region's view as favoring broad US engagement in many sectors, opposed to focusing narrowly on security.

Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri was appointed as Singapore's Ambassador to the United States of America in July 2012. He previously served as Ambassador to Indonesia (2006-2012), High Commissioner to Malaysia (2002-2006) and Australia (2000-2002).

A career diplomat, Mr. Mirpuri joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1984. In 1994, he was appointed Director of MFA's Policy Planning & Analysis Directorate I (Southeast Asia). In 1997, Mr. Mirpuri was seconded to Shell International Ltd in the United Kingdom as Corporate Advisor (Asia Pacific), and in 1998 was assigned to the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta as Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission.

Mr. Mirpuri graduated with an honors degree from the National University of Singapore. He received his MA at the University of London's School of Oriental & African Studies. He attended the Programme for Executive Development at the Institute for Management Development, Switzerland, and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Grace Ruch
Phone: 202-327-9762