Forum set up to promote security of US ventures in Asia

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2008 (AFP) – The United States is to launch a forum to promote security of largely American businesses in Asia amid concerns on issues ranging from copyright piracy to terrorism threats, officials said. The forum, pushed for by US companies in the region, will be inaugurated this week under the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), a public-private partnership run by the State Department’s law enforcement and security arm.

The Pan-Asia Regional Council will be “an information sharing platform to work with the private sector to ensure they have the information needed to make their operations safe and secure,” OSAC executive director Todd Brown told AFP.

The Asian council is aimed at protecting the interests of business groups, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions and faith-based bodies.

“It is a more focused entity to deal specifically with challenges in the Far East,” said Brown, a special agent with the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which is responsible for, among other functions, protecting 285 US diplomatic missions abroad.

The Asian forum was set up following requests from business groups in the region striving to address concerns