LONDON: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has today (Monday 14 November) re-appointed Richard Graham MP as Trade Envoy to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to boost British business in the region.
The Indo-Pacific region is a key trading area for the UK as we pivot towards dynamic economies right across the world. The region is expected to account for the majority of global economic growth between 2019 and 2050, with demand for the types of key industries the UK specialises in – from life sciences to media to technology.
UK-ASEAN trade was worth £39.3 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022 – an increase of 12% from the same period last year.
In 2020 we became ASEAN’s first new Dialogue Partner in 25 years as part of plans to boost trade ties with this dynamic trading bloc in Southeast Asia. We have developed a new joint Plan of Action to strengthen security ties, deepen our economic partnership and strengthen resilience to shared challenges, such as global health security and climate change.
Richard Graham will use his skills, experience, and market knowledge to help UK businesses find new export and investment opportunities and promote UK trade in the region.
Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:
Now is the time to future-proof our economy and seizing the post-Brexit opportunities in the Indo-Pacific will help us do it.
These are some of the largest, fastest growing and most innovative markets on the planet and they are eager to trade with us.
I’m delighted to see Richard re-appointed to this role to help foster closer ties with the region, encourage British businesses to grow and expand deliver jobs across the UK.
The news comes as the Prime Minister travels to Indonesia today to take part in the G20 Leaders’ Summit.
The UK and Indonesia have a history of science and innovation partnerships with more than 1,200 joint publications since the start of the millennium. Indonesia is currently the world’s 10th biggest economy in terms of purchasing power parity and is projected to be the fourth biggest by 2050.
Last month the UK signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indonesia to boost investment in sectors the UK excels in including life sciences, renewable energy, and access to critical minerals.
The deal will help UK businesses support clean infrastructure projects across Indonesia – such as tidal energy – and make it easier for UK firms to access Indonesia’s vast resources of vital minerals such as nickel, crucial for building our growing fleet of electric vehicles.
The UK also has a new Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO) with Indonesia, with the first Ministerial level talks taking place in February 2022, seeking to improve trade ties in key sectors.
The UK and Malaysia have also recently agreed to upgrade its trading relationship to a JETCO, with Ministerial level talks expected to begin in 2023.