British Prime Minister David Cameron started his four-day-long trade and diplomatic mission to southeast Asia on early Monday by arriving at the Indonesian capital Jakarta.
Thirty-one businessmen and trade ministers participated in the southeast Asia tour along with Cameron expecting to sign trade agreements worth more that 1.2 billion dollars.
Before his tour, Cameron said that his visits will be trade centered. He also added that he plans to talk about climate change and to seek collaboration for countering ISIS.
Mentioning the importance of going beyond European borders, Cameron said that "over the next 20 years, 90 percent of global growth is expected to come from outside Europe, and Britain must be poised to take advantage.”
"That's why I'm delighted to be taking British businesses to this vast and dynamic market, securing deals worth over £750 million and creating opportunities for hard-working people back at home,” Cameron added.
Cameron stressed the importance of making trade agreements with growing economies by saying, “We can also open up more markets for British businesses by leveraging the power of the EU's single market with 500 million consumers to secure bold, ambitious trade deals with these fastest, growing economies."
Another reason for Cameron’s tour is to convince the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to make a free trade deal with the European Union, which can provide an income of 3 billion pounds for Britain annually.
Citing a second reason for his southeast Asia visit, Cameron also mentioned that he will discuss the ISIS threat with the leaders and said that “[ISIS] is one of the biggest threats our world has faced. I think Britain can offer expertise on practical counter-terrorism work, dealing with the threat from foreign fighters and investigating potential terrorist plots.”
Cameron’s first tour outside Europe is to include Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore.
Cameron is to meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak. Prime Minister Cameron will be headed to Singapore on Tuesday, after visiting Indonesia.
The British government set an economic goal to double the country’s exports to 1 trillion pounds by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, Cameron has worked to boost British economy by signing new trade agreements with developing countries.