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Front row (left to right) – Virginia Arteaga, DCCCD; Annia Keosavang, Laos Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sokunthea Chhan, Cambodia Human Rights and Development Association; Anita Gordy-Watkins, DCCCD; Teresita Bernales, U.S. State Department (contractor/liaison); Thi Tuyet Mai Pham, Vietnam ASEAN Department; and Irma Kusuma, Multi-Ethnic Education and Economic Development (MEED) Center;

Back row (left to right) – Ken M. Tse, Galileo Jumaoas and Urmil Shah, GDAACC; Jonelle John Santos Domingo, Embassy of the Philippines; Terrence Teo Tsu Tang, Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai, Thailand “Asian Agribiz”; Danang Waskito, Indonesia Ministry of Affairs; Ngwe Lwin, Myanmar Fauna and Flora International; and Lt. Paul Thai, GDAACC/Dallas Police Department.

​Contact: Ann Hatch

For immediate release — May 21, 2018

Editors’ note: ASEAN delegates are listed at the end of this story.

(DALLAS) — Key opportunities for future collaboration was a key objective among delegates from the Association of South East Asian Nations when they visited Dallas on May 15. Hosted by the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the Dallas County Community College District, the ASEAN delegation also came to the United States to explore the characteristics of effective international regional organizations and to assess global economic issues.

DCCCD’s global economic development office and GDAACC welcomed the visitors, who were invited through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. ASEAN, created in 1967, promotes the economic growth and development of 10 countries located south of China; visitors in the delegation represented Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“We were honored to host the ASEAN delegation, with GDAACC, and to give our guests an opportunity to learn more about the DFW and North Texas region, as well as information about workforce development and other resources that DCCCD can offer,” said Anita Gordy-Watkins, associate vice chancellor for global economic development at the district. Virginia Arteaga, manager director for that DCCCD office, assisted Gordy-Watkins.

Galileo Jumaoas, president of GDAACC, and Urmil Shah, who chairs the chamber’s board of directors, provided an overview of the Asian community in North Texas. They discussed programs and initiatives offered by GDAACC and other organizations which support Asian businesses and the community in the region. Delegation members also learned about the chamber’s programs designed specifically for refugees and new immigrants.

DCCCD’s presentation provided details about growth and diversity in the region based on population, changing demographics and its shifting economy. ASEAN delegates also learned about DFW’s primary business sectors, job growth, direct foreign investment and trade, and the area’s increasing need for talent.

Gordy-Watkins and Arteaga discussed DCCCD’s role in supporting local global business; strategic recruitment of companies through workforce development; and collaboration with other local, state and international entities.

As the meeting wrapped up, participants also discussed potential future collaboration opportunities in several areas: partnerships with GDAACC, DCCCD and other organizations for ASEAN small businesses, including small business development; training related to operating a small business in the U.S.; possible internships in the delegation’s home countries as well as with U.S. companies; and potential partnerships for training programs involving educators and administrators in vocational education.

For details, contact Gordy-Watkins by email at or by phone at 214-860-5913.

Association of South East Asian Nations delegation members

CambodiaSokunthea Chhan, head of the women’s and children rights section, Human Right and Development Association

IndonesiaDanang Waskito, deputy director for America, Europe and other regions, directorate general of ASEAN cooperation, Ministry of Affairs

LaosAnnia Keosavang, desk officer, ASEAN Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

MyanmarNgwe Lwin, program manager, Kachin Conservation program, Fauna and Flora International

The PhilippinesJonelle John Santos Domingo, vice consul and third secretary (political), Embassy of the Philippines

SingaporeTerrence Teo Tsu Tang, deputy director, counter-proliferation and international security, International Security Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

ThailandChaiyot Yongcharoenchai, regional correspondent, Asian Agribiz

VietnamThi Tuyet Mai Pham, head, external relations division, ASEAN Department

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