Britain is increasing its engagement with Asia as the Secretary of State for Wales Rt Hon. David Jones MP, visits Indonesia and Singapore.
Mr Jones will represent the UK Government on a visit to the region, which will build on existing business links, as well as look at further opportunities for UK companies and institutions to operate in the region.
Speaking ahead of his visit, Mr Jones said:
“Doing business in South-East Asia is critical for Britain’s long-term future prosperity and security. In 2012, UK exports to the six largest south east Asian economies exceeded those to mainland China. These countries are crucial to our long-term future and we are determined to strengthen our partnerships with them.
“I am keen to speak to businesses, educational institutions and governments in the region to ensure British companies are being given the best opportunities to compete in the global race.”
The British High Commissioner in Singapore Antony Phillipson said:
“Singapore and the UK share strong ties and Singapore is the UK’s largest export market in SE Asia. The visit of the Welsh Secretary will deepen our education and defence links with a visit to the East Asia Institute of Management to see their work with Cardiff Metropolitan University and meeting with business leaders on HMS Daring.”
As Singapore remains the UK’s largest export market in ASEAN, the Secretary of State for Wales will meet Aireen Omar, CEO of AirAsia Berhad and Thomas Friedberger, CEO of the Singapore office of EADS, the parent company of Airbus. AirAsia recently signed a contract for 100 A320 aircraft, witnessed by Mr Jones and the British Prime Minister David Cameron, at the Airbus wing manufacturing facility based at Broughton in Wales.
Mr Jones will then fly to Indonesia, where he will promote UK democratic values at the Bali Democracy Forum. As Indonesia is the largest economy in South East Asia, Mr Jones will look at the opportunities for growing the UK export market to the region, which is currently worth just over £1bn per year.
Whilst in Bali, he will lay a wreath at the site of the 2002 Bali bombing, which killed 202 people, including 27 British nationals, and visit the Bali Emergency Operations Centre to discuss crisis planning.
The British Ambassador in Indonesia Mark Canning said
‘Indonesia is the power-house economy of SE Asia and it is right that the UK is investing in that relationship with the visit of the Secretary of State for Wales.”
Note to Editors:
The Prime Minister visited Indonesia and Singapore in April 2012 and the President of Indonesia was received by Her Majesty the Queen in a State Visit in November 2012.
Images from the Secretary of State’s trip are available here