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The Secretary of State for Wales David Jones MP today met with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) London Committee.
Topics up for discussion included how to build on trade, education, tourism and investment links between ASEAN countries and Wales, and opportunities open to Welsh businesses looking to improve trade relationships with the ASEAN market.
Mr Jones said. “The UK is transforming its relationships with countries across Asia. It is one of very few European countries represented in every ASEAN country, at the heart of which is Southeast Asia, one of the fastest growing regional economies in the world.
“It was a valuable opportunity to discuss with the ASEAN London Committee the opportunities open to Welsh businesses and how we can expand on our links and ensure British companies are being given the best opportunities to compete in the global race.”
Mr Jones has visited Southeast Asia three times, most recently Malaysia in February this year, where he met key business and government leaders.
Wales has strong links in Malaysia including with the International University of Malaya Wales, a partnership between the University of Wales Trinity St David and the University of Malaysia. Mr Jones is due to host an international delegation of 20 Malaysian students from the international university in the coming weeks.
Also in February this year he hosted the Indonesian Ambassador His Excellency Hamzah Thayeb and a delegation from the Indonesian Embassy on a visit to north Wales. The delegation met Welsh businesses with aspirations to trade internationally and others already experiencing success in global markets.
Mr Jones said, “During my trip to Indonesia last year and more recently to Malaysia, I saw the huge opportunities that exist within these emerging markets and I urge businesses in Wales to capitalise on opportunities to forge links with them.”
Figures show that Welsh exports to Asia and Oceania accounted for 11% of its total exports of goods in 2013, and were valued at £1,670 million, an increase of £193 million (13%) compared to 2012. The value of imports of goods to Wales from Asia and Oceania was £1,461 million, an increase of £64 million (5%) during the same period.