Topics discussed included the importance of collaboration on COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution, as well as our shared challenge in tackling climate change and how the UK and Association of Southeast Asian Nations can strengthen ties by working together to build back a more sustainable global economy after the pandemic.
Earlier this year, the Foreign Secretary submitted the UK’s application to become an ASEAN Dialogue Partner to join other countries including Australia, India and Japan in areas of common interest.
Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said:
Whether it’s fighting climate change, beating COVID19, or flying the flag for free trade – the UK is a friend to ASEAN, and that was my clear message today on speaking to all ten ASEAN Ambassadors and High Commissioners to the UK.
We want 2021 to be a historic year for UK-ASEAN relations, and we look forward to building back better and greener together after the pandemic.
The wider Indo-Pacific region is a key partner for the UK. The ASEAN bloc is set to become the fourth largest ‘single market’ by 2030 and is of increasing geostrategic importance as political, economic and military power shifts towards Asia this century.