DA NANG (Sputnik) — US President Donald Trump's coining of the term "Indo-Pacific" instead of the commonly used "Asia-Pacific" and the absence of focus on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in his speech at the APEC CEO's summit is worrying, CEO delegate and director of the Baker McKenzie law firm Frederick Burke told Sputnik.
"This concept of Indo-Pacific area is strange. There is something behind it. He never mentioned APEC in his speech, it's worrying. What does it mean? Is it re-defining spheres of influence?" Burke said.
In his speech, Trump said that the United States was open for bilateral trade agreements with any "Indo-Pacific nation," if they are done on an equal and fair basis, and he was not interested in multilateral deals.
"What is new about this summit is that the US is projecting new policies. For many years, the US has been trying to convince other countries, especially developing countries, that they should be open to trade, join WTO etc. But all of a sudden this year we have a new president, who comes and says almost exactly the opposite. It's a concern for American businesses here in Vietnam," Burke added.
The APEC CEO summit which brings together the representatives of 21 economies of the Asia Pacific region is being held in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang on November 8-10, with the theme of this year's summit named "Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future."