The recent ASEAN@50 Business Forum, at the FCO’s historic Locarno Suite, marked the milestone of ASEAN’s founding with wide ranging in depth discussions on the future of the UK’s business relationship with this important region.
Dr. Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade opened the Forum and highlighted the publication of DIT’s White Paper, ‘Preparing for our future UK trade policy’, noting, “ASEAN countries already have strong trading ties with the UK and, as we leave the EU, the region’s rapid growth presents a huge opportunity for British business to forge even closer ties with businesses across Southeast Asia”.
Richard Graham MP, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and the AEC, dashed in amidst a heavy voting schedule in Parliament to give an inspiring address saying, ‘The UK can be a partner for ASEAN in development, education, vocational training, and so much more.’ Richard set us all some homework welcoming feedback on two key questions: 'What do businesses think our trading relationship with ASEAN should be?' and 'How can we match opportunity with UK expertise?'
We also had two fantastic panel discussions. One was on the future of the region’s trading architecture moderated by Dr. Linda Yueh of Oxford University. The other session focused on business opportunities in Southeast Asia, moderated by Pooma Kimis of OMFIF. Both sessions generated thought provoking questions and comments in the room and on social media.
Following a refreshing stroll through St James’s Park to Lancaster House, delegates were met by the soothing sounds of Indonesian Gamelan, Thai musicians and a spectacular performance by Filipino dancers showcasing the talent of the region.
H.E. Jusuf Kalla, Vice President of Indonesia, and Mark Field, Minister for Asia at the FCO, both noted in their speeches the growing UK-ASEAN relationship and the willingness on both sides to do even more to foster trade and investment.
We were delighted, as were the guests, that the Foreign Secretary - Boris Johnson, was able to attend the reception to underline the UK government’s commitment to strengthening the UK-ASEAN relationship.
Click here to see photos and video highlights of the day.
Click here to read DIT's White Paper: Preparing for our future UK trade policy. They are encouraging feedback and input from businesses; comments should be sent by 6 November to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to read KPMG’s timely report: Politics, Power and Change: What’s Next for ASEAN.
Please stay in touch as we have some great events coming up.
UK-ASEAN Business Council
T: 0207 828 3431