The US will invest $100 million through a program to advance cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, President Joe Biden said Tuesday.
Speaking at a virtual US-ASEAN summit, Biden called the relationship between the US and ASEAN "vital" and the partnership is essential to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.
He said he will deepen cooperation, pursue new avenues of ministerial dialogue, as well as invest "in our countries” and drive “inclusive prosperity in this critical region."
"In fact, we intend to launch a new program and initiatives to enhance our cooperation across the range of issues totaling more than $100 million," said Biden.
The president said ASEAN is a "central regional architecture of the Indo Pacific" and the US is committed to ASEAN centrality.
"It's a linchpin for maintaining resilience, of prosperity and security of our shared region," he added.
Earlier, the White House said Biden will announce up to $102 million in new initiatives to expand the US-ASEAN partnership. The spending will cover health, climate change and the economy, among other areas.