Foreign Secretary visits South East Asia to usher in “new era” of UK-Indo Pacific security cooperation


Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is visiting Indonesia and Brunei-Darussalam this week (7 to 9 April), to forge closer trade and security ties with the two countries while tackling key global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the coup in Myanmar.

It is Dominic Raab’s fourth visit to South East Asia as Foreign Secretary – and first since the publication of the Integrated Review – setting out the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific. Later this year, the UK’s Carrier Strike Group led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth, will make its maiden visit to the region.

In Jakarta, the Foreign Secretary met Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to discuss the growing UK-Indonesia trade partnership now worth £2.7 billion a year. He also met Health Minister Budi Sadikin where they discussed the importance of international collaboration in pandemic preparedness. In his final meeting in Jakarta, Dominic Raab spoke to ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi as the UK looks to progress closer ties with the key regional bloc.

Dominic Raab will now travel to Commonwealth nation and current ASEAN chair, Brunei-Darussalam, for several high level meetings tomorrow (Thursday 8 April) to discuss trade, climate, and security issues, with the British Garrison stationed in the country.

Speaking ahead of the visit Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said:

This is my fourth visit to the region; to two key strategic partners, because the Indo-Pacific tilt is vital for the UK to grasp the economic opportunities and rise to the new challenges ahead.

We’re deepening our trading relationships. The Carrier Strike Group’s deployment marks the start of a new era of defence cooperation. And the UK is investing in long term partnerships as a force for good in the region.

In Brunei’s capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, Dominic Raab will have an audience with His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei before meeting Foreign Minister II Dato Erywan, where trade will be on the agenda given Brunei’s membership of the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), which the UK hopes to accede to.

He will then join the second UK-ASEAN ministerial dialogue, to explore Dialogue Partner status for the UK, before returning to the UK.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab holds a bilateral meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jakarta, Indonesia in South East Asia. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street
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