UK, ASEAN Look To Boost Trade Ties

UK - Asean trade

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and the Minister for Asia and the Pacific
Mark Field met in London on 15 May senior diplomats of the ASEAN
member states to promote closer UK-ASEAN ties, including in trade.

The London Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the member states
of ASEAN and the top British diplomats discussed the UK’s commitment to
boost its trade and business presence in South East Asia, the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office said in a statement.

“UK-ASEAN trade is worth nearly £37 billion per year and our ever closer
partnership will provide even more increased trading opportunities for
British businesses after the UK leaves the EU. We also enjoy strong
people-to-people connections through education and research
collaboration and important security and defence co-operation with many
ASEAN nations,” Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field said after the
meeting.

A new UK Mission will open in Jakarta later this year as part of the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office’s expanding diplomatic network and the UK’s
commitment to forge a stronger relationship with ASEAN.

At the beginning of this year, Minister Field met ASEAN’s Secretary
General, Dato Lim Jock Hoi, during his two day visit to the UK, and
reiterated the UK’s commitment to boost its partnership with ASEAN.

“UK investment in Southeast Asia exceeds our investment in China and
India combined, and with ASEAN businesses collectively ranking as the
third largest Asian investor in the UK, it isn’t hard to see why developing
our relationship is a priority,” Minister Field said in January 2019.

Representatives of the fintech community in ASEAN members Thailand
and Vietnam visited London in March to discuss deepening of the UK-
Southeast Asian partnership in the fintech industry.

Thailand and Vietnam are particularly well placed to be among the biggest
winners of the fintech revolution, Minister Field wrote in an op-ed in
March.

“This is why the UK, which is home to the most open and dynamic
financial centre in the world, has been working to develop sustainable
Fintech partnerships across Southeast Asia,” he said.