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ASEAN Countries: UK Relations

Volume 682: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2020

I visited Vietnam last month, where we held the first UK-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting, discussing collaboration on covid, the green economic recovery, and the UK’s application for dialogue partner status with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer so far. What steps is my right hon. Friend taking to support new growth markets in the ASEAN region, such as Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, to ensure that the UK economy and UK businesses, especially South Derbyshire firms, feel the full benefit of global Britain?

First, I must congratulate my hon. Friend on her appointment as trade envoy for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. She will know that UK-ASEAN trade is already worth over £40 billion in 2019. There are huge opportunities to strengthen that. The International Trade Secretary was meeting ASEAN Economic and Trade Ministers last month. I have been out to ASEAN to talk about our partner dialogue status. We also have a broader ambition to join the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership. All that, through our Indo-Pacific tilt, will increase opportunities for businesses and consumers in her constituency and across the whole United Kingdom.