Mrs Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire, has been appointed as the Prime Ministers Trade Envoy to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. This is a crucial role to help build post-Brexit trade relations and promote British businesses abroad.
Heather was previously the Under-Secretary of State for Asia and the Pacific where she was able to promote trade and build on strong relations to promote British interests in the region. This new and exciting role will see Heather working closely with Heads of Mission and Natalie Black the UK’s Trade Commissioner for the Asia Pacific in support of new export and investment strategies.
Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have huge potential for trade and could provide a significant boost to ours and their economies. Vietnam has experienced continuous economic growth, in 2018 their economy grew by 7.1% and Cambodia has seen an average growth of 7.5% with its import market growing on average by 13.9% since 2014. Laos has also been working on reform, working towards greener and more inclusive growth. Their economy grew by 4.8% in 2019 and they are working hard to combat poverty, improve education.
Trade with Vietnam was worth £6 billion in 2018 alone and exports to Cambodia grew by 160.5%, worth £112 million by June 2019. Laos has also seen an increase in trade and as we move forward it presents huge potential.
Mrs Heather Wheeler MP for South Derbyshire said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the Trade Envoy to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. This is an exciting and unique point in time to promote British interests and businesses, especially as we seek to secure post- Brexit free trade agreements. I will make the case for our expertise in Hi-Tech, Health services and education as examples of the great opportunities for our National companies and South Derbyshire firms, in particular, to expand there.
“Having previously worked with these nations I am looking forward to building on our close ties and playing a part in securing trade deals. The Asian region is developing at an unprecedented rate, especially Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. This is a fantastic opportunity to secure better terms and develop a stronger bond as we stride out into the world and take our place on the stage as Global Britain."