Trade Secretary Kicks Off Three-Leg Asia Trip With Trade Talks In Jakarta

  • International Trade Secretary co-hosts first ever Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) with Indonesia on first leg of Asia-Pacific visit
  • Trade talks with Indonesia are first step towards stronger economic ties with Southeast Asia’s largest economy
  • Trevelyan will visit Japan and Singapore as UK enters final stage of negotiations to join £8.4 trillion Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc

The International Trade Secretary today (23 February) launched top-level trade discussions in Jakarta as part of a visit to the Indo-Pacific region.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan joined her counterpart, Trade Minister Mohammed Lutfi, in the Indonesian capital to host the first ever UK-Indonesia Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) before she heads on to Japan and Singapore.

The UK and Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, committed to enhancing our trading relationship and boosting the existing £2.6 billion in bilateral trade. It comes as Indonesia prepares to host the G20 leaders’ summit later this year.

Trevelyan also sat down with the Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Dato Lim Jock Hoi, for the first meeting since the UK became the bloc’s 11th Dialogue Partner, the first nation to achieve that status in 25 years.

After the Indonesia leg of her trip, Trevelyan is moving on to visit counterparts in Japan and Singapore in a visit designed to deepen and strengthen ties to the region as part of the UK’s strategic Indo-Pacific tilt.

The visit comes days after the UK moved into the second and final stage of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership CPTPP free trade area worth £8.4 trillion in GDP.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

This trip marks an exciting milestone in the UK’s strategic tilt to the Indo-Pacific. We have made significant progress on joining CPTPP, a trade bloc worth over £8 trillion. We are also looking at what is on the horizon to deepen trade links with Indonesia and other nations in the Indo-Pacific.

These talks are an opportunity to advance our shared goals, such as stepping up green trade in areas like hydrogen. Trade in the industries of the future will provide opportunities for growth and high-quality jobs across the UK’s industrial heartlands, helping us level up right across the country.

While in Indonesia, Trevelyan met Luhut Pandjaitan, Minister of Investment and Maritime Affairs, and the Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, to discuss possibilities for clean growth collaboration, such as partnering on Jakarta Net Zero.

She also promoted the UK’s rail expertise as she visits Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), which British firms have helped to design. She highlighted how closer trade ties and support from UK Export Finance could help UK businesses bidding for multi-million pound contracts on Indonesian infrastructure projects, with £4 billion of financial support available for the country.

As the world’s fourth largest country by population and this year’s G20 president, the visit was also an opportunity to emphasise the strategic importance of Indonesia and address wider UK priorities such as WTO reform.

The Trade Secretary will fly to Tokyo on Thursday.

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