SIF Connects! Washington DC

The Singapore International Foundation organised its fifth edition of SIF Connects! Washington DC – our annual event to reconnect with Friends of Singapore in the United States – on 27 September 2017. In partnership with the US-Asia Institute (USAI), we held a dialogue titled Strengthening Meaningful Connections between the US and ASEAN, to mark ASEAN’s 50th anniversary and 40 years of US-ASEAN relations this year. Participants exchanged perspectives on fostering people-to-people relationships between ASEAN and the US, and how these connections could usher in a new wave of peace and prosperity by enabling mutual understanding. 

Co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on ASEAN, Congressman Joaquin Castro addressed the audience at the start of the dialogue on Strengthening meaningful connections between the US and ASEAN. Congressman Castro spoke about the bright future for US and ASEAN cooperation and collaboration. He commended Singapore for drawing the US’ attention to ASEAN and for facilitating dialogue between the US and ASEAN.
Dialogue panellists posing for a picture with Congressman Joaquin Castro (fifth from left) and ambassadors from ASEAN countries including Singapore ambassador to US Ashok Mirpuri (third from left) and Brunei ambassador to US Dato Paduka Serbini Ali (third from right).
Co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on ASEAN, Congressman Joaquin Castro addressed the audience at the start of the dialogue on Strengthening meaningful connections between the US and ASEAN. Congressman Castro spoke about the bright future for US and ASEAN cooperation and collaboration. He commended Singapore for drawing the US’ attention to ASEAN and for facilitating dialogue between the US and ASEAN.
Congressman Hank Johnson stopped by enroute to Congressional voting on recognising the work of ASEAN, and extended a warm welcome to SIF and friends from Singapore to Washington DC.
The dialogue attracted over 140 Friends of Singapore who were keen to exchange thoughts on how the US and ASEAN could collaborate for positive change and deepen people-to-people ties.
Congressional Singapore Caucus Co-chairman, Congressman Denny Heck said that personal relationships remained sturdy and enduring in our changing world, and encouraged all not to neglect the people aspect of the US-ASEAN engagement.
The dialogue prompted robust discussion, fuelled by questions and thoughts to the panel in real time via Singaporean digital platform Pigeonhole Live. Questions included - How should ASEAN’s strategy evolve to build capacity at the people-to-people level? What kind of initiatives can deepen integration and cultivate shared values among US and ASEAN communities?
Audience members were equally enthusiastic in sampling the uniquely Singapore dishes at the reception.
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