UK Announces £25 Million Investment in ASEAN Economies
The UK’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced on 14 July that the UK would support economic growth in ASEAN with funding of up to £25 million.
The UK will also aim to reduce poverty in the Southeast Asian bloc, bringing UK expertise in trade, regulation, and financial services to the region over the next five years, the UK government said in a statement.
“This will boost long-term UK trade and investment links in a region which includes some of the world’s fastest-growing economies,” the UK says.
During a visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, on 13 and 14 July, the Foreign Secretary said that “To grow the economy, we’re partnering with the dynamic nations who will shape the next century.”
Secretary Cleverly held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Kao Kim Hourn, on the sidelines of the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Jakarta. The two officials discussed ways to enhance ASEAN-UK dialogue relations and exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern to both regions, the ASEAN Secretariat said.
Southeast Asia is on track to be equivalent to the fourth-largest economy by 2030, with total trade in goods and services between the UK and ASEAN worth £46.5 billion to the end of 2022, the UK government said.
Later in July, the UK is set to begin its formal accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc (CPTPP), further strengthening British trade and investment links in the region.
“The security and economies of the UK and southeast Asia are more closely linked than ever before,” Foreign Secretary Cleverly said ahead of the visit to Indonesia.
“That is why we are growing our long-term ties with dynamic, fast-growing markets across this region and showing our support for a strong, unified ASEAN – which is vital for the prosperity and stability of the Indo-Pacific,” Cleverly added.