press release

Chuck Williamson of Unocal succeeds Jim Kelly of UPS as leader of premier U.S. business group for Southeast Asia

The following news release was issued by US-Asean Business Council

Washington, D.C., Feb. 26, 2002 -- The US-ASEAN Business Council today announced that Chuck Williamson, chairman and CEO of Unocal Corporation, has been elected the council's new chairman.

Williamson succeeds Jim Kelly, recently retired chairman and CEO of United Parcel Service, who served as chairman of the council since 1999.

The US-ASEAN Business Council is the premier American business group focused on the ten countries of ASEAN - the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ASEAN represents the third largest overseas export market for the United States, and American investment in the region is larger than that in China, Mexico, or Brazil.

"Jim Kelly set a very high standard during his tenure as chairman, and I hope to build on his example, and that set by this organization's history of strong leaders, including Hank Greenberg of American International Group (AIG) and George David of United Technologies Corporation," said Williamson. "Jim focused on letting ASEAN's leaders know that U.S. business was committed and ready to work on key areas to get economic recovery underway. His mark was emphasizing free and efficient movement of people, ideas and products around ASEAN and to the rest of the world. I think that we can build on this by stepping up efforts to support regional economic integration."

The US-ASEAN Business Council is known as the channel of trusted communication with ASEAN. The council's membership includes approximately 150 of the Fortune 1000 American companies with trade and investment interests in the ASEAN region. The council's members are represented in diverse industries, including aerospace, agribusiness, automobiles, computers and information technology, consumer goods, energy exploration and development, express delivery services, financial services, health care and pharmaceuticals, software, and telecommunications. (The council's membership roster is available on-line at

During Kelly's chairmanship, the council and its members worked with the U.S. and ASEAN governments to support economic reform and restructuring, following the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Kelly's tenure also saw the establishment of the council's technology and training arm, the US-ASEAN Center for Technology Cooperation (CTC). In addition, Kelly's tenure included an increase in council-sponsored business missions to the ASEAN region, along with a parallel effort in Washington to expand educational efforts on ASEAN issues with U.S. Congressional members and staff.

"The US-ASEAN Business Council is seen as the premier and trusted voice of the American private sector in the 10-country, 500-million person ASEAN market," said Williamson. "My vision is to continue to bring Southeast Asia and the United States closer together through business. It will be an honor for me to lead this important group as we work with our partners and colleagues in the region to move to full economic recovery in Southeast Asia."

As a result of the slowdown in the U.S. economy, the terrorist attacks of September 11, and sluggish growth elsewhere in the world economy, U.S. trade and investment with ASEAN slowed during 2001. However, the region still represents a major market for the United States, and is host to significant U.S. direct investment. Two-way U.S.-ASEAN trade reached US$108 billion during the first eleven months of 2001, and total U.S. investment in the five largest ASEAN markets (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) stands at more than US$50 billion, five times the level of that in China, and comparable to the level of U.S. investment in Japan.

Williamson was appointed CEO of Unocal Corporation in January 2001, and was elected chairman in October of that year. He is no stranger to Asia, having served as vice president, exploration, for Unocal Thailand from 1989-1992. After holding senior planning and technology management positions in the United States, he was named group vice president for International Energy Operations in 1996. He joined Unocal in 1977, and received a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1978.

Jim Kelly served as chairman and chief executive officer of UPS from January 1997 until the beginning of 2002. He was previously vice chairman and chief operating officer, and served on the UPS Board of Directors since 1991. His career with UPS began in 1964 as a package delivery driver in his home state of New Jersey. He is a graduate of Rutgers University.

For information on the US-ASEAN Business Council or general information on the ASEAN region, please contact John Goyer at or visit the Council's Web site at

Updated: February 2002