By Caribbean News Global
SOUTH KOREA, East Asia – UK minister for the Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan arrived in South Korea (11 May), as the two countries celebrate 140 years of diplomatic relations, to deepen cooperation on economic and security challenges.
“During her first trip to the country, minister Trevelyan will join a dialogue with 2nd vice minister Lee Dohoon to deepen collaboration on economic security between the two countries. The dialogue, the first at ministerial level, is expected to focus on regional security measures upholding the international rules-based economic order and joint work to combat hostile activity by foreign states,” said the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
The visit’s focus on economic security underlines the UK’s commitment to partner with dynamic and fast-growing economies in the Indo-Pacific, as set out in the Integrated Review refresh.
These partnerships will be critical to advancing the prime minister’s priority of UK economic growth. The UK and South Korea already have a mutually beneficial free trade agreement in place, with 2-way trade worth £18.8 billion in the year to September 2022, up 42 percent on the previous year, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said in a press release.
Minister for the Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said:
“This year marks 140 years in the UK’s friendship with South Korea, our valued partner on key issues from regional security to climate change. As trusted friends, South Korea and the UK already benefit from strong trade relations and shared regional aims. By forming new partnerships on development and economic security, we will benefit our two great nations and build stability in the wider Indo-Pacific region.”
During the visit, the minister will attend engagements focused on reinforcing peace and joint commitments to security in the Indo-Pacific. These include a tour at the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. The minister will reaffirm commitments to work with partners on the threat North Korea poses to regional stability. The UK has been at the forefront of calling out North Korea’s provocations and as a permanent member of the UN security council, helps lead UN sanctions enforcement.
“Minister Trevelyan will also make new commitments to establish a Strategic Development Partnership with South Korea. The initiative will amplify the impact of existing UK and South Korean development commitments, improving the lives of those in developing nations. The partnership will span climate and economic resilience, development finance and health with more details set to be agreed by the end of the year.”
With the British Embassy in Seoul alongside the British Chamber of Commerce, minister Trevelyan will launch a new programme to promote gender equality in the workplace called ‘Empower’. The programme will support Korean women in business by providing mentoring and networking opportunities with top British companies based in Korea. It will build on the FCDO’s first-ever International Women and Girls strategy, launched in March this year.