The first ever delegation of British Ambassadors to Southeast Asian countries visited Kunming on 7 and 8 March to promote cross border collaboration in the Golden Era between the UK, China and its South East Asia neighbours.
The visit was organised by the British Consulate-General in Chongqing. Invited by Tina Redshaw, British Consul-General in Chongqing, British Ambassadors and senior diplomats from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, with Philip Malone, Deputy Director of the South East Asia Department of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, visited Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan Province, which plays a strategic role in China’s One Belt One Road initiative. The delegation’s aim was to understand how Yunnan’s government is positioning the province as a gateway to South East Asia and to explore the prospect of deepening UK-Yunnan-SE Asia economic and trade co-operation.
In Kunming, the delegation held a round table meeting with Yunnan government authorities to understand Yunnan’s development and its engagement with South East Asia, and its history of cross-border collaboration. They also met business representatives in Kunming to understand their investment plans in Southeast Asia, the challenges and opportunities they face and how the British embassies in the region might play a bigger role in facilitating cross-border collaboration. The delegation also visited Shilin Experimental Solar Power Plant to learn about the state of renewable energy development in Yunnan and its collaboration with Southeast Asia in this sector.
Together with partners in SW China, the Consulate General in Chongqing is keen to deepen relationships as part of the Golden Era of China and UK relations following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit last year. The latest symbol of that is a friendship partnership agreement signed in February between the City of Kunming and Liverpool. The cities will forge closer collaboration in healthcare, life sciences, green energy and the creative industries.
Tina Redshaw, Consul-General said:
We hope to increase multilateral understanding in the region through the visit, and to encourage more regional co-operation.