Mark Field, Minister for Asia and the Pacific, visited the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris on 11 March to address participants at a high-level forum on Southeast Asia.
During the visit, the Minister affirmed the UK’s strong commitment to the OECD’s role in promoting economic development and the rules based international system, as well as the UK’s wish to strengthen the future UK-ASEAN relationship.
In his speech to forum attendees the Minister said:
We all know that trade, investment, and economic growth have the power to transform lives. We also know that removing barriers to trade and improving connectivity between countries and markets can turbo-charge that power. That is why, in my role as the UK’s Minister for Asia and the Pacific and for Economic Diplomacy, I focus so much on enhancing economic development and deepening investment. It is also why the work of the OECD is so important, and why the UK supports it so strongly.
We also want to remain a steadfast and active partner to ASEAN. We are investing £2 million to support the OECD’s new work on boosting competition – such a key driver of economic growth… we are confident that all this cooperation and sharing of expertise will bring great benefits to the region. I look forward to continuing to strengthen the UK’s relationships with ASEAN – bilaterally; through our new Jakarta mission; and through our support for the OECD.
During his visit the Minister also met with the OECD Secretary General and counterparts from Japan, Korea and other ASEAN partners to discuss how OECD work in the region could be strengthened further.
Mr Field also raised a range of Asia-Pacific issues in meetings with the French Foreign Ministry and think tankers, underlining UK commitment to the region.