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September 12, 2017


In “ The ASEAN-US Big Number,” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce takes a new approach to explaining the totality of the US-ASEAN Commercial relationship. Traditionally, the relationship’s economic importance is explained in terms of imports, exports and direct investment. These are indeed important, but this report attempts to take a more holistic approach; it measures the flows of financing between the United States and ASEAN, sales in domestic market by U.S. affiliates’ sales on the ground in Southeast Asia, and ASEAN-based affiliates’ sales in the United States, and government revenues derived from the operations of U.S. companies in ASEAN.

Adding up all these components yields an ASEAN “ Big Number,” which is to say, the total value of the economic relationship. The paper estimates that the Big Number was $652 billion in 2015, This figure accounted for more than one-quarter of ASEAN’s GDP that year, indicating the deep and broad economic interdependence between the United State and the region.