In the final part of his first Asia-Pacific trip in 2020, the Foreign Secretary will highlight the new and exciting opportunities in trade and investment with the two countries as an independent and sovereign UK.
The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said:
Global Britain is open for business and there are huge trading opportunities with Singapore and Malaysia. They are two linchpin partners in South East Asia, and we share their interests in promoting security, stability and the international rule of law.
The region is also crucial to tackling climate change, so we’re looking forward to taking our relations to the next level.
The Foreign Secretary will travel to Singapore (Monday 10 February) and Malaysia (Tuesday 11 February) to build stronger ties with important partners in South East Asia and to promote the UK as a dynamic nation.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will meet Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing to ensure the relationship between our countries will flourish now the UK has left the EU. We will strengthen links in areas such as climate change, technology and trade between our countries – which was worth £12.7 billion in 2018.
They will celebrate the success of the SG-UK Partnership for the Future, a collaboration launched in 2019 to mark the 200th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore. The first year of this collaboration saw 26 agreements to increase work together in areas such as science and innovation, education, medical technology, climate resilience and cyber security. In 2020, the collaboration will focus on climate, technology, security and knowledge.
The UK and Singapore have strong research bases and are committed to green technology development. The Foreign Secretary will visit the Tengeh reservoir which is being used as a test bed for floating solar power technology as Singapore seeks to diversify its energy mix. The Foreign Secretary will also visit a high tech research lab that is a collaboration between UK firm Rolls-Royce, Nanyang Technological University Singapore and Singapore’s National Research Foundation. It is the first corporate lab to bring together universities and companies to jointly work on R&D focusing on electrics, manufacturing technology and data analytics.
While in Kuala Lumpur, the Foreign Secretary will use a series of high-level meetings – including with Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Foreign Minister Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah and Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin – to set out our vision for our future relationship with Malaysia in trade, science and innovation, climate change and education.
Trade, investment and business links between the UK and Malaysia are already worth over £5billion a year, with iconic projects like the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station in London showcasing Malaysian investment in the UK. Malaysia is the second largest market in ASEAN for the UK and there are huge opportunities for the future. Later this month, British company Smith+Nephew – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of medical devices – will be breaking ground on its first manufacturing plant in South East Asia in Penang, creating up to 800 new jobs over the next five years and giving a big boost to UK-Malaysia trade.
Underlining the UK’s position as a world leader in tackling climate change, promoting sustainability and preserving the environment, the Foreign Secretary will make clear our support for Malaysian efforts to clean up the oceans by reducing plastic use and marine debris, and pledge to work together to stop illegal shipments of plastic waste from UK.