ASEAN, UK bolster cooperative relations


UK Prime Minister David Cameron visited the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 27, becoming the first acting British PM to visit the bloc’s headquarters to cement the economic relationship between the UK and the dynamic region.

Secretary General Le Luong Minh praised the visit as reflecting the UK’s commitment and political will to deepening its relationship with ASEAN.

He said the European country’s interest in strengthening economic relations with ASEAN is in line with the bloc’s growth trend of stronger economic integration.

He also highlighted achievements in forming the ASEAN Community in late 2015 while pointing to arising challenges.

Minh added with combined gross domestic product (GDP) reaching nearly 2.6 trillion USD in 2014, ASEAN is now the world’s seventh biggest economy and aims to become the fourth largest in 2050.

For his part, the British PM said the UK will intensify its collaboration with ASEAN in infrastructure development and electronic commerce. He will also appoint a special commerce envoy to boost trade relations and investment between ASEAN and the UK.

The two sides exchanged regional and international issues affecting world peace and stability such as nuclear weapons and the East Sea dispute.

On the occasion, the ASEAN Secretariat held an ASEAN-UK business forum to increase investment in ASEAN