Foreign Secretary visits Singapore and opens British investment office for Indo-Pacific expansion

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly meets Lee Hsien Loong Prime Minister of Singapore for a bilateral meeting at the Istana in Singapore. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Foreign Secretary Rt Hon James Cleverly MP is in Singapore today (29 September), for the first time since taking up the role, to underscore the UK’s partnership with Singapore, ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific region.

The Foreign Secretary has met the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and his Singaporean counterpart, Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, to launch a regional investment initiative and give a keynote speech on the UK’s approach to the Indo-Pacific.

Speaking from Singapore, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:

The links between the UK and Singapore are founded on our shared beliefs in free trade and international law and our strong commitment to the rules-based multilateral system.

Singapore is an important and strategic partner as well as a global, economic and political hub. I look forward to strengthening this partnership, working together to solve global challenges and creating sustainable prosperity in the UK, Singapore and the Indo-Pacific.

The Foreign Secretary met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to reaffirm the UK’s commitment to stronger bilateral ties with Singapore and discuss future cooperation on regional trade and security.

At the Milken Institute Asia Summit, the Foreign Secretary delivered a speech outlining the UK’s outlook on the Indo-Pacific region.

The Foreign Secretary also met Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and outlined the UK’s ambition to elevate the UK-Singapore relationship, reflecting the breadth and depth of shared interests. He signed a MoU committing the UK and Singapore to working together on capacity and resilience building in the region.

Mr Cleverly also met Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and launched the new British Investment International (BII) Office, which will be at the core of the UK’s development finance institution’s Indo-Pacific expansion, recognising Singapore’s role as a global financial centre. BII’s plans to invest in green infrastructure will support climate resilience and a green economic transition in the region and bring us closer to Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia and Laos.

Srini Nagarajan, Managing Director and Head of Asia, British International Investment said:

Our new Singapore office is a momentous step in BII’s history, which will play a significant role in our Indo-Pacific expansion and bring us closer to our focus markets of the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. We will invest in the renewables sector and partner with a network of investors to help these economies reduce emissions, protect the environment and adapt to the changing climate.

The Singapore visit will conclude his three-day visit to East Asia, during which the Foreign Secretary highlighted the UK’s deep interest in the Indo-Pacific region and took forward shared ambitions on trade and security.


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