UK minister’s visit to region strengthens ASEAN links

Aziz Idris

The Minister for Asia and the Pacific from the United Kingdom (UK) Heather Wheeler met with members of the ASEAN Diplomatic Corps and London ambassadors at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) recently.

The meeting discussed ways to strengthen further links with ASEAN, which will be a key partner for the UK after leaving the European Union (EU) at the end of this month,

Other topics included deepening future UK-ASEAN cooperation and the 26th Climate Change Conference (COP). It follows Heather Wheeler’s visit to Jakarta recently to officially open the UK’s first dedicated mission to ASEAN.

Speaking after the meeting at the FCO, the minister said, “I had the privilege of opening the UK’s first dedicated mission to ASEAN on my recent visit to Southeast Asia. “This meeting with the ASEAN Heads of Mission has been a great chance to strengthen further links with a region which will be a key partner for the UK after we leave the EU at the end of this month.

“The UK has longstanding and enriching links with the ASEAN region. Two-way trade in 2018 was GBP37.2 billion and is ever increasing, over three million British nationals visit Southeast Asia each year and there are over 40,000 ASEAN students studying in the UK.

“We collaborate not only on education, science and innovation, trade, security and climate, but also many other sectors. The possibilities are endless and continued dialogue will enable us to do even more.”

Brunei Darussalam was represented by the Brunei Darussalam High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Pengiran Hajah Rooslina Weti binti Pengiran Haji Kamaludin.

Minister for Asia and the Pacific from the United Kingdom (UK) Heather Wheeler in a group photo. PHOTO: BHC