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UKABC’s Year in Review 2022 - from digital to hybrid!
Another incredible year! Thank you for helping us to continue to grow our business and government relationships with the fastest-growing region in the world.
As many of you will know UKABC has a new Chair. The Rt Hon the Lord Vaizey of Didcot accepted the role following the return to government of Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG. I want to place on record my personal thanks - and also on behalf of UKABC and our Board - for all that Baroness Neville-Rolfe did as Chair. Her dedication, commitment and passion for the role had taken UKABC to new heights. And I’d like to repeat mine and the Board’s huge thanks to Lord Vaizey for hitting the ground running (quite literally) when he led our delegation to the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) in Cambodia after only 2 weeks in the role!
Like many organisations, we have moved from the digital to the hybrid world. But I’m really pleased that UKABC has been able to deliver a mix of forums and roundtables virtually, in-person and hybrid. Our focus has been to share greater understanding of key market issues while highlighting the many opportunities to help UK businesses grow. Economic recovery, digital transformation and sustainable economic growth have been major pillars for the region. This will continue in 2023.
This year, for the first time in three years, we were able to take a business delegation to ABIS. This enabled UKABC to meet with ASEAN Economic Ministers, share the stage with DIT’s Minister for Trade Policy, The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, host two roundtables on Investing in ASEAN and on Women’s Economic Empowerment and above all demonstrate the UK’s continued commitment to ASEAN.

Highlights from some of our events during the year are below. Please join us in 2023 for what I’m confident will be an even more exciting year of opportunity for us all.
Ian Gibbons
Chief Executive, UKABC
January - UKABC Roundtable Conversation with Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam
Baroness Neville-Rolfe led a discussion with the former British Ambassador to Vietnam, Gareth Ward to explore the opportunities available to UK companies while learning more about the future of Vietnam’s economic and geopolitical landscape.
Areas of discussion included Vietnam’s economic outlook for 2022, strategies to achieve sustainable growth post COP26, and the view from Vietnam with respect to China, Myanmar and ASEAN.
February - UK-ASEAN Business Forum 2022 - A Future Redefined
UKABC's flagship event delivered in partnership with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, DIT and HSBC. The Forum brought together key figures from the UK and Southeast Asia to discuss the deepening UK-ASEAN relationship and explored areas of focus for 2022.
The hybrid event was shaped around three-panel discussions which included themes such as sustainability, energy transition and UK-ASEAN trade and investment.
Read More
March - UKABC Roundtable with The Honourable Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Minister of Finance of Malaysia
Ian Gibbons and Matt Cavanagh, UKABC Board Director and Director of Group Government Relations at Prudential, led a discussion with the Hon. Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Finance of Malaysia to hear how Malaysia was opening back up and to explore how to grow UK-Malaysian trade and investment with a two-way trade worth £5.1 billion.
Areas of discussion included how the pandemic had impacted Malaysia’s economy, the opportunities for collaborating with Malaysia in their sustainable growth ambitions and net-zero goals, and how digitalisation could provide greater inclusion and build back better.
April - Joint ASEAN Societies Reception
Baroness Neville-Rolfe spoke at the ASEAN Societies reception which also marked Her late Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Our former Chair emphasised the importance of the year for ASEAN given ASEAN Member States were to host three of the most important multilateral meetings of the year (G20, APEC and the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit).
Ian Gibbons took part in a panel conversation and stressed the importance ASEAN played in global trade and investment.
May - The UK-Vietnam Business Forum following the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO)
UKABC supported the UK-Vietnam Business Forum. The aim of the forum was to reaffirm the UK’s commitment to an ambitious trade and investment relationship with Vietnam and to resolve key market access issues for UK and Vietnamese businesses in the renewable energy, education, agriculture, fintech, and healthcare sectors.
Ian Gibbons (former Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City) took part in a panel conversation stressing the importance of partnership and collaboration.
June - The UK-Thailand Business Forum following the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO)
Following the formal JETCO, UKABC led the business session of the UK-Thailand Business Forum. The keynote address was delivered by The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, former Minister for Trade Policy, DIT Trade followed by H.E. Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce of Thailand.
Freya Thomas Monk, Board of Director for UKABC and Senior Vice President at Pearson chaired a panel conversation with a focus on the business view covering potential commercial opportunities resulting from the JETCO and the wider bilateral relationship between the UK and Thailand.
July - UKABC Roundtable with Natalie Black CBE, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pac
Standard Chartered hosted UKABC’s partner event with Natalie Black CBE, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific to discuss DIT’s priorities in Southeast Asia. The conversation covered the UK’s position as the region’s newest Dialogue Partner, updates on the trade policy agenda for the region and the key business opportunities in ASEAN for the next 3-5 years.
The roundtable included Graham Stuart MP, former PM Trade Envoy to Vietnam and now Minister of State in the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.
August - Vietnam Roundtable on Revolution 4.0, Digitalisation and Green Transition
The Vietnam Embassy hosted a Vietnamese delegation of senior government officials led by H.E. Mr Tran Tuan Anh, member of the Politburo and Chairman of the Economic Affairs Commission.
UKABC’s future Chair, Lord Vaizey and Chief Executive Ian Gibbons joined UKABC partners at the roundtable to discuss the Industrial Revolution 4.0, digital transformation and green transition. UKABC partners including HSBC, KPMG, Standard Chartered and Connected Places Catapult were present.
September - Explore Welsh Export Opportunities in Southeast Asia
The Welsh Government and UKABC hosted an event to support Welsh-based companies looking to explore new export opportunities in Southeast Asia.
The event included an ASEAN market overview to highlight the latest opportunities for Welsh exporters, developed how opportunities could be accessed and clarified issues and challenges that companies face when considering exporting to the ASEAN market.
October - UKABC Networking Reception
UKABC’s annual networking reception is one of our flagship events. We were delighted to have The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, DIT’s Minister for Trade Policy, as our keynote speaker. We were also joined by Ambassadors and High Commissioners from ASEAN, DIT and FCDO contacts, UKABC’s partners and a huge number of our business contacts.
Ian Gibbons put on record our deep appreciation for the hard work that Baroness Neville-Rolfe had put into her role as Chair over the last 3 years.
November - ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS)
Being part of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit was UKABC’s most ambitious deliverable of the year. We were delighted to lead a business delegation comprising HSBC, Jardines, KPMG, MACE, Prudential and Crown Agents Bank to the summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The summit is the leading platform to engage with senior ASEAN government and business figures from across Southeast Asia. The delegation, led by our newly appointed Chair Lord Vaizey, also took part in the 2nd ASEAN Economic Ministers–UK Consultation. Additionally UKABC hosted two lunch roundtables on Investing in ASEAN and separately on Women’s Economic Empowerment.
Read More
December - ASEAN Societies Reception
UKABC is a proud supporter of the Joint ASEAN Societies Reception which this year celebrated its 5th anniversary. The focus is on strengthening UK-ASEAN links and encouraging future partnerships.
The ASEAN Societies include members from a variety of organisations such as the Anglo-Thai Society, The Anglo-Indonesian Society, The British Malaysian Society, Singapore Business Group, Singapore UK Association, Cambodia Society in the United Kingdom, Britain-Burma Society, Vietnam UK Network, Philippine British Business Council, and AUBF (ASEAN UK Business Forum) and is supported by the ASEAN London Committee of Ambassadors and High Commissioners.
...and here's a snapshot of the rest of 2022!
1. UK Genomics Symposium with ASEAN Partners 2022 - 2 March
2. UKABC Roundtable with HMA to Thailand - Mark Gooding OBE - 17 March
3. CPC’s Net Zero Framework - Report Launch for five Indonesian Provinces - 29 March
4. Invest in Kuala Lumpur - Understanding the Opportunity - 24 May
5. UKABC Roundtable with Laure Beaufils, British Ambassador to the Philippines - 1 June
6. UKBC Roundtable with British Chargé D’Affaires ad interim to Myanmar - Pete Vowles - 8 June
7. ASEAN London Tech Week - 22 June
8. UKABC Roundtable on the Impact of the War in Ukraine on Southeast Asia - 7 July
9. Vietnam-UK Economic Policy Roundtable - 12 August
10. Asian Development Bank Business Opportunities: Energy, Healthcare, Education - 14 September
11. Asian Development Bank Business Opportunities: Urban Development, Climate Resilience, Transport, PPP - 21 September
12. UKABC Roundtable with HMA to Laos - John Pearson - 4 October
13. UKABC Roundtable with HMA to Thailand - Mark Gooding OBE - 25 October
14. Invest in ASEAN Lunch - 9 November
15. Women’s Empowerment Lunch - 10 November
16. New Clark City Investment promotion with Philippines delegation from the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) - 29 November

UKABC supporting role:
17. Vietnam Investment Forum - 30 March
18. Vietnam-UK High Level Economy and Trade Forum - 29 June
19. Vietnam National Day - 26 August
20. West Midlands Commonwealth Games Programme - Focus on Singapore - 21 September
21. ACCA roundtable with BMCC Malaysian Government Delegation - 13 October
22. West Midlands Commonwealth Games Programme - Focus on Malaysia - 26 October
23. Indonesia Investment Forum - 27 October
24. International Trade Week - 31 October
25. British Council led discussion on trans-national education with the Philippine Public Universities delegation - 2 November
A special welcome to our new partners in 2022 - BDO, Mace, BAE Systems and BP - who joined our 18 partners...
...and to all of you for your support too! The UKABC team
25 Wilton Road, Victoria, London, SW1V 1LW 
Tel: +44 (0)20 8226 2296 
@2022 UK-ASEAN Business Council - UKABC. All Rights Reserved.


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