05 August 2013

The Gatwick Diamond Initiative recently hosted a visit from His Excellency Teuku Mohammad Hamzah Thayeb, Indonesian Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Chair of the ASEAN London Committee.

More than 50 representatives from the local business community were invited to hear him speak about the opportunities that the fast growing ASEAN markets can offer for companies trading overseas.

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is made up of Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Burma, Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia and Laos.  New direct routes have been recently launched from London Gatwick to Vietnam and Indonesia, opening up these dynamic growth markets to local firms.   

The free seminar ‘Gatwick Diamond Spotlight on the ASEAN Market’ was sponsored by the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, the Southern Group of Business Advisers (SGBA) and ASEAN UK. It was chaired by Mike La Rooy of American Express and Board Member of the Coast to Capital LEP. 

Rosemary French, Executive Director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative commented:  “William Hague said in April that ‘today Britain is looking East as never before’. As a result of this event we now know that the ASEAN countries are at the very heart of this opportunity. We were delighted with the strong response to this seminar which resulted in standing room only!’’

As well as the Indonesian Ambassador, the packed seminar heard from SK Lingam, Chair of the ASEAN UK Business Forum, who explored the benefits and ease of trading. He said:  " By 2030, the ASEAN economy is predicted to be the world’s 4th largest single market."

Iain Brown explained the help that UKTI could offer, whilst David Cook of Vietnam Airlines spoke about the direct routes available from Gatwick and provided a raffle prize of an economy return air ticket to Vietnam.  The seminar finished with a short speech from Jubi Prasetyo of Garuda Indonesia, covering the new direct air services to Jakarta which start in November 2013.

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