A photo of UK diplomats and ASEAN representatives (Photo: asean.org)

Jakarta (VNA) – The UK and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to maintain close ties via official channels following Brexit, during a meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat’s headquarters in Jakarta on January 10.

The event was attended by Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political-Security Community Hoang Anh Tuan, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN of Economic Community Aladdin D. Rillo, Permanent Under-Secretary at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office Simon McDonald, and British ambassadors from the 10 ASEAN member states.

Representatives from both sides agreed to prioritise cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, capital market, education, science, security, future cities, and cyberspace, according to a press release of the UK Embassy in Indonesia.

The UK will appoint a new ambassador for the ASEAN in 2019 to strengthen bonds between the two sides, said Simon McDonald, adding that the UK has always appreciated the role of Asian countries, including the ten ASEAN member states, having set up 50 diplomatic representative offices in the region.

Talking to the press after the meeting, he said that the ASEAN Secretariat is an ideal destination to discuss the future of ASEAN-UK cooperation.

McDonald said as a dynamic area, the ASEAN, alongside China and India, will create momentum for the global economy throughout the 21st century, he underlined.

He also affirmed that the UK stands ready to expand relations with its partners in the ASEAN bloc and build alliances for the future. –VNA