US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has reaffirmed Washington's commitment to Southeast Asia. His comments came during a visit to Indonesia.

Ross met with Indonesia's economy minister on Wednesday after a series of ASEAN meetings, where the absence of US leaders sparked criticism that the United States is not paying enough attention to Southeast Asia. Ross told reporters, "Any thought that we are losing interest in this region is totally wrong. Southeast Asia is our largest single regional trading partner."

The two agreed to strengthen cooperation in trade and investment. The Indonesian minister echoed Ross's reassurances.

Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs said, "Many American companies want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Indonesia's economic development."

Neither US President Donald Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence attended the ASEAN summit near Bangkok this month.