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Webinar: UKABC Roundtable with Jon Lambe, British Ambassador to ASEAN


The UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC) is delighted to host Jon Lambe, UK Ambassador to ASEAN to a roundtable discussion with UKABC partners. The aim of the conversation is to better understand the UK government’s priorities for ASEAN and the various streams of engagement underway.

ASEAN is facing two major challenges, namely responding to Covid-19 and to the coup in Myanmar. As the region struggles to get back on its feet again and get the 10 ASEAN Members States economies back up and running, ASEAN is facing a significant threat to its unity as Myanmar continues to be volatile and unstable.

The UK’s Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab MP, visited Indonesia and Brunei in early April to demonstrate support for ASEAN in tackling Covid19, climate change and expanding trade as the UK looks to join the CPTPP. The deepening relationship also saw the UK extend an invitation to Brunei, as Chair of ASEAN, to attend the G7 Foreign Minister’s Meeting in London in early May for the first time where discussions focused on the Indo-Pacific and climate change.

On 24 April, the ASEAN Chair issued a statement on the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting that took place at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. In the statement, the Leaders tasked the Foreign Ministers to make the arrangements for the UK to become a Dialogue Partner this August. Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN will enable the UK to play a key role in the region and form part of the wider Indo-Pacific tilt.

The UK is a major development partner for ASEAN and provides over £300 million in Official Development Assistance annually to support economic and social development. This includes tackling climate change and providing humanitarian assistance following disasters.

As Chair of COP26, the UK is also looking to raise the profile of key themes of COP26 in Southeast Asia. This includes hosting a Race to Zero campaign to encourage ASEAN companies and countries to be net-zero by 2050.

The roundtable will provide an overview of the importance of the deepening relationship with ASEAN and insight into what to expect in UK engagement in ASEAN in the near term.

Areas of discussion

  • UK-ASEAN Dialogue partnership application update.
  • The UK’s Integrated Review and the Indo-Pacific tilt.
  • Geo-political issues in Southeast Asia and the wider region.
  • UK government initiatives supporting ASEAN.

This event is for UKABC board members and partners. To find out more about partnership opportunities contact ken.wells@ukabc.org.uk.


9.00 Welcome remarks

• Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Chair, UK-ASEAN Business Council

9.05 Partner conversation 

• Jon Lambe, British Ambassador to ASEAN

Chaired by Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Chair, UK-ASEAN Business Council

10.00 Roundtable concludes

Further Reading

Chairman’s Statement on the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting. ASEAN Secretariat

‘Global Britain’ woos ASEAN in fields of former empire’. Nikkei Asia

Brunei’s Priority Economic Deliverables as ASEAN Chair. ASEAN 2021 website.

UK makes ASEAN ‘high priority’ for post-Brexit trade deals. Nikkei Asia

Global Britain in a Competitive Age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. Gov.UK

UK applies to join huge Pacific free trade area CPTPP. Gov.UK

UK-ASEAN factsheet. Gov.UK


Baroness Neville-Rolfe, DBE CMG, Chair, UK-ASEAN Business Council

Lucy has had 3 careers, in politics in business and in the civil service.

Currently, she is a Conservative peer, sitting on the Lords EU Committee (and its Financial Services sub-committee), is Chairman of Crown Agents (a not for profit business dating back to 1833) and is a non-executive director of Capita plc, Secure Trust Bank Plc, Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company and Health Data Research UK.

Lucy became a peer in 2013 and was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business and Minister for Intellectual Property from 2014-2016. She represented the UK on the Digital Single Market and in the EU Competitiveness Council. From 2016-2017 she was the Minister of State responsible for Energy and then Commercial Secretary at the Treasury.

Lucy’s main career was at Tesco from 1997-2013, as Director for Corporate and Legal Affairs, and she served on the Main Board from 2006-2013.

Lucy has previously been a non-executive director of ITV, PwC, Metro AG and other companies. She was President of EuroCommerce, the Brussels retail and wholesale Trade Association, and served on the China Britain Business Council, the UK India Business Council and the CBI Economics Committee.

Before her career at Tesco she was a civil servant and a member of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit in Downing Street, having spent her earlier career in what is now DEFRA.

Lucy is an honorary fellow of her old college, Somerville College, Oxford. She is married with four sons and is interested in the arts, cricket, racing and gardening. She lives in Southwark and Wiltshire.

Jon Lambe, British Ambassador to ASEAN 

Jon Lambe became UK Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 28 November 2019. He is the first dedicated UK Ambassador to ASEAN and opened the UK Mission to ASEAN at the time of his appointment.

Jon joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2010. He most recently served in London, leading work on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, including the UK approach to North Korea and to the Iran nuclear deal. From 2014-2016 he was Deputy Ambassador and Political Counsellor at the British Embassy in Kinshasa, leading work on governance and peacekeeping. From 2010 – 2014 he was First Secretary, Energy, Climate Change and Development at the British Embassy in Paris.

Before joining the FCO, Jon worked from 2005-2010 in the Department for Education, focussing on improving school performance. From 2004-2005 he worked at HM Revenue and Customs, including on innovative uses of fiscal policy for social change.

Jon has a BSc in Mathematics from Imperial College, London and a MSc in Finance and Economic Policy from the University of London.

Jon is married and has two children. Outside work he enjoys spending as much time as he can in the mountains or the ocean.

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