ASEAN Secretary General Visit Boosts UK-ASEAN Cooperation

ASEAN Secretary General Visit Boosts UK-ASEAN Cooperation 


The UK and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are looking to deepen cooperation in various fields including trade, infrastructure, and supply chains as ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn began on 1 November a three-day visit to the UK—the first time the Secretary General has visited any European country in his role. 

Kao met senior leaders from the UK Government, business, and academia to advance ASEAN-UK Cooperation.

The ASEAN secretary general discussed the ASEAN-UK Economic Integration Programme with the Minister of State for Department of Business and Trade, Nigel Huddleston. They also explored means to strengthen economic cooperation in ASEAN’s key priority areas—digital transformation, green transition, resilient supply chains, and financial services.

ASEAN’s secretary general also took part in the UK – ASEAN Business Council (UK-ABC) Private Sector Roundtable on 1 November. During the roundtable, Kao and UK representatives discussed political and economic priorities, trade, digital transformation, and sustainability, and explored further potential areas of collaboration.

The UK became an ASEAN Dialogue Partner in 2021, in recognition of the bloc’s central role promoting co-operation and shaping the wider Indo-Pacific regional order.

Commenting on Kao’s visit, the UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said,

“The UK’s relationship with ASEAN is central to our long-term commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. As an ASEAN Dialogue Partner, we are growing our trading links – worth over £46bn a year – and deepening cooperation on areas like cyber security and resilience.”

“I was delighted to further this work with Deputy Secretary-General Michael Tene in Jakarta in September, and today with Secretary-General Dr Kao Kim Hourn in London,” Dowden added.