Underscores the Strong Support and Connection Between the Hawaii Community and the Military

ASEANHONOLULU (April 3, 2014) – The Military Affairs Council (MAC) of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is hosting a luncheon for Asia-Pacific defense delegates today. This will effectively serve as the final event for the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Defense Forum convening here in Hawaii this week and hosted by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. This is the only forum event hosted by a private organization and underscores the strong support of the military and deep connection between the Hawaii community and its military.

“We are honored to be able to host this event for the ASEAN delegation,” said Chamber President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii has a long-standing tradition of supporting our military in Hawaii and the Pacific so it’s a natural fit for us to extend that support to the ASEAN forum. Regional security and stability is critical for all of the economies in the Asia-Pacific and around the world.”

Ten countries that make up the ASEAN represent the informal meeting of defense ministers, which is the first U.S.-hosted U.S.-ASEAN Defense Forum. All ten ministers — from Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — attended.

The ADMM-Plus, a platform for strengthening security and defense cooperation for peace, stability and development in the region, is made up of the 10 ASEAN defense ministers and eight dialogue partners, who are the defense ministers from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, New Zealand and Russia.

Hagel said the United States has been participating in the ADMM-Plus since 2010, representing “a tremendous opportunity to connect, to coordinate, to communicate, to reinforce the U.S. message about our intent and our cooperation.” The secretary emphasized the importance of the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific whose purpose, he said, is to strengthen U.S. relationships in the Asia-Pacific with treaty allies and partners, and coordinate efforts.

Hawaii provided the perfect venue for the Pacific-based meeting. The secretary added, “I want the defense ministers, after they leave Hawaii, to feel even more clarity about the U.S. commitment to the , our coordination, our communications the areas where we can cooperate more and more — and certainly humanitarian assistance and disaster relief is one of those.”

As the leading “Voice of Business” in Hawaii, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is the state’s largest organization advocating for businesses in Hawaii. Established in 1850, the Chamber works on behalf of its approximately 1,000 member companies and the business community, as a whole, to advance the state’s economic climate and help businesses succeed. The Chamber supports its members with training, business building and networking opportunities; coordinates advocacy activities for members’ involvement; and serves as a liaison between civilian and military communities in Hawaii.

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Contact: Lori Abe
808-282-4398 (mobile)

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