From 29-30 April 2013, Dr. Chaiyong Satjipanon, Ambassador of Thailand to the United States of America, together with some of the ASEAN Committee in Washington (ACW) ambassadors, traveled to Houston, Texas, on an ambassador tour organized by the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council (USABC). The trip is one of the annual activities organized by USABC, which is aimed at enhancing networking and promotion of ASEAN in various states in the U.S. During their visit to Houston, the ambassadors had meetings with various sectors, including a meeting with Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker, during which both sides exchanged views on business environment in Houston, particularly on oil and gas sector, as well as opportunities for business cooperation between the Southeast Asian region and Houston.
In addition, the ACW discussed with executives of Witt O’Brien’s on disaster management and preparedness, as well as met executives from other local businesses, including ConocoPhillips, the world’s largest independent exploration and production company based on reserves and oil production, and discussed the company's overview and global investment including in ASEAN particularly on shale gas.
Furthermore, the ambassadors also attended a briefing at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Johnson Space Center, as well as visited the International Space Station Flight Control Viewing Room, and the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility. The ambassadors also met with executives of the MD Anderson Cancer Research Center of University of Texas, one of the world’s centers devoted to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. Both sides also shared views on how to strengthening cooperation.
The delegation joined a lunch talk session organized by Asia Society, which was participated by various local sectors, including Thai Texas Association, a group of Thai community in Houston. The ambassadors briefed and answered questions of the audiences on various issues including business opportunities in ASEAN, ASEAN Economic Community, and Trans Pacific Partnership.
After Houston, the ACW ambassadors will continue their trip to Atlanta, Georgia on 1 May 2013.