Asian Ambassadors roundtable meeting with UK Parliamentarians
On Wednesday 16th March, BGIPU hosted an in-person roundtable with Ambassadors from across Asia. The meeting was attended by a wide range of UK parliamentarians from various committees and APPGs, and was chaired by BGIPU Vice-Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP.
The Ambassadors of Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Uzbekistan all spoke to UK parliamentarians to update them on the social, political and economic situations in their countries, as well as providing insights into the bilateral relationships with the UK. Each Ambassador addressed the situation in Ukraine. They were all united in their desire for the conflict to be resolved and stated the importance of the international community coming together.
HE Hayashi Hajime spoke at length about the global implications of the war and the importance of uniting against violence. HE Hayashi also emphasised the strength of the UK-Japan bilateral relationship, in particular the current focus on security and defence collaboration. He also highlighted Japan’s strong support of the UK’s desire to join the CPTPP.
HE Dr Desra Percaya, the Ambassador of Indonesia, reemphasised that peace efforts must not be delayed and also highlighted the multifaceted nature of the UK-Indonesian bilateral relationship. The Ambassador was positive about the UK-Indonesian relationship, especially in light of the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt in foreign policy.
HE Nguyen Hoang Long, Ambassador of Vietnam, echoed the Japanese support for the UK to join the CPTPP and reflected on the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt, noting the opportunities for further bilateral collaboration on education. The Ambassador also reflected on Vietnam’s first-hand experience of war and called for all parties to restore dialogue and peace.
HE Said Rustamov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan, noted the ongoing modernisation reforms happening in Uzbekistan and Uzbekistan’s growing leadership role within the Central Asia region. With more than 60% of Uzbekistan’s population aged under 30, Uzbekistan is keen to build on the close ties with the UK to ensure that it’s young population can access a wide range of opportunities.
BGIPU would like to thank each of the four Ambassadors for taking the time to come into the UK Parliament to brief UK parliamentarians. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for all parties to finally engage in person and to build on the strong connections between Asian and UK parliamentarians.