UK ministers meet ambassadors of ASEAN to move ties forward

UK ministers meet ambassadors of ASEAN to move ties forward

Jakarta (ANTARA) -
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field held a meeting in London with Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the member states of ASEAN on Wednesday (15/5) to underline the UK’s commitment to, and growing presence in, South East Asia.

"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," Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field said in a statement here on Thursday.

The UK also enjoys strong people-to-people connections through education and research collaboration and important security and defence co-operation with many ASEAN nations, the minister remarked.

"With a new, permanent British diplomatic mission in Jakarta specifically dedicated to growing our links with the ASEAN group set to open later this year, I look forward to our links with South East Asia growing even stronger after Brexit," Minister Mark Field stated.

As a P5 member, the world’s fifth largest economy, and a leading defender of the Rules Based International System, the UK looks forward to working together with this diverse, dynamic and quickly growing region.

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

The UK is only a handful of European countries with an Embassy or High Commission located among every member of ASEAN.

ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and was established to promote co-operation on political, security and economic issues in the region.

With a rapidly expanding middle class and a market of 650 million people, the UK will strengthen links with ASEAN on education, trade, economic reform, climate, cybersecurity, defence and the digital economy.