KUALA LUMPUR: The United Kingdom has affirmed its support for Asean’s economic ambitions and commitment to strengthening the region’s resilience against the impact of Covid-19.
Its secretary of state for International Trade, Liz Truss said this is in line with the Hanoi Plan of Action on Strengthening Asean Economic Cooperation and Supply Chain Connectivity in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
She said free trade and resilient supply chains will be crucial to the global economic recovery as the crisis passes.
“We want our relationship with the Asean region to strengthen and grow, continuing the partnership we have had for more than 40 years.
The current crisis proves now more than ever the importance of international engagement and finding global solutions to global challenges,” she said in a statement after holding a UK-Asean Economic Dialogue with 2020 Chair of Asean Economic Community Minister Tran Tuan Anh of Vietnam recently.
The virtual economic dialogue marked the first formal economic engagement between Asean and the UK and was attended by economic ministers and officials from the 10 Asean member states as well as Asean Secretary-General Datuk Lim Jock Hoi.
The dialogue provided an important platform to further trade and bolster economic recovery efforts amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK, she said, will work with Asean and the Economic Research of Institute of Asean and East Asia (ERIA) on research to help strengthen UK-Asean supply chains, to better understand their resilience and identify ways to further strengthen them in support of business and consumers.
This is part of a broader exchange of views on the impact of Covid-19 on supply chains and lessons learnt to develop further resilience in the future.
Meanwhile, her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific Natalie Black said the post-Covid-19 world will be one that is characterised by rapid digital adoption and Asean is at the heart of this sea change in lifestyle and business transformation.
“The dialogue marks an important step in strengthening UK-Asean collaboration on innovation and trade, and we hope to further mutual exchanges and nurture new ideas that can better lives in the region and around the world,” she said. — Bernama