UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss Touches Down in Thailand

The UK foreign secretary arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday (Nov. 9), expecting to meet with Thai authorities to “forge closer bilateral ties.”

According to the UK government‘s official website, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ arrival in the Thai capital is part of her week-long tour in Southeast Asia amid efforts to deepen the UK’s wider role in the region.

Thailand is the UK foreign secretary’s second stop after visiting Malaysia on Sunday. Ms. Truss will then travel to Indonesia, her last stop, the UK office said.

On her two-day visit to the kingdom, she will meet with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. As part of the UK policy agenda, Ms. Truss expects to boost partnerships in digital technology and technology, security collaboration and investment.

While both countries currently have two-way trade of around £4.7 billion (209.1 billion THB or 6.37 billion USD), with over 5,000 British companies exporting to Thailand, Ms. Truss hopes to take the relationship with the kingdom “to the next level.”

“We want to step up our relationship with Thailand and take it to the next level in areas including tech, trade and investment,” she said. Ms. Truss added that her country needed a deeper relationship with the kingdom that reflects its growing economy and places the UK “at the heart of the fastest growing parts of the world.”

During her visit to Thailand, Ms. Truss will formally open the new British embassy in Bangkok. She is also set to meet with major companies from both nations to discuss sustainable investment and Building Back Better.

The foreign secretary also said she would visit the Triumph motorcycle factory, planning to promote more UK business in the Thai territory. 

Liz Truss took over as UK Foreign Secretary in September this year. The official’s trip to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia is her first physical visit to Southeast Asia.

The UK government plans to deepen ties in different parts of the world beyond Europe are part of its post-Brexit efforts.

“I want to position Britain where the future growth is and to think about who our major partners will be in 2050 and beyond,” Truss said in a statement before traveling, describing Southeast Asia as “the engine of the global economy.”