Jon Lambe, UK Ambassador to ASEAN updates UKABC partners
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Jon Lambe, UK Ambassador to ASEAN spoke with UKABC partners on ‘UK-ASEAN Engagement: What are the priorities?’
UKABC Chair Baroness Neville Rolfe moderated UKABC’s digital conversation with Jon Lambe, the UK’s Ambassador to ASEAN. The Ambassador discussed with UKABC partners and specially invited guests from across the UK and Southeast Asia about ASEAN’s response to the coronavirus and the deepening UK-ASEAN relationship.
The Ambassador noted that, as in Europe, individual ASEAN nations have had their own strategies to deal with coronavirus but noted that the commitment has been the same. The Ambassador reported that the recent ASEAN Summit, held online, was a demonstration of ASEAN’s unity and spirit of collaboration. The summit showed ASEAN’s determination to keep markets open for trade and investment and tasked the Economic Ministers to look into an arrangement to preserve supply chain connectivity and provide for the smooth flow of trade, especially for essential goods.
The Ambassador went into detail on the four priorities that the UK is focusing on in the region and that the missions’ opening in January was a key part of the strategy of the UK continuing to strengthen, the UK-ASEAN relationship. While everything has changed because of coronavirus, the underlying priorities and ambition remain the same.
The session also heard from UKABC partners who shared their views and challenges with the Ambassador, in particular on the formal relationship with ASEAN post the Brexit transition period. Senior figures from ACCA, Accenture, AstraZeneca, BP, Crowe, HSBC, JCB, KPMG, Michael Page, Neptune Energy, Pearson, Prudential, Santander, Scotch Whisky Association, Shell, Standard Chartered, University of Oxford and Wood took part in the session among others.
Dr Deborah Elms, Executive Director of the Asia Trade Centre in Singapore will take part in the next Digital Conversation with UKABC partners.