The UK government has bilateral trade relations with individual Asian and Pacific countries, and this relationship offers UK businesses a huge range of opportunities in this region - from basic to high-tech industry and services. Some trade is also aid-funded.
These countries range from small Pacific islands and least developed countries, such as Bangladesh, to major economies, such as China, India and Japan. The region also includes smaller but sophisticated economies, such as Australia, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.
There have been recent bilateral government discussions between the UK and Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Korea.
The UK also takes part in regular trade contacts with Asian and Pacific countries through the Commonwealth and the European Union (EU).
There are EU bilateral and region-to-region agreements with several Asian and Pacific countries. The most established of these is with the Pacific island members of the Cotonou Agreement on trade and aid, but there are also dialogues with China and Japan. Free Trade Agreements are currently being negotiated with India, the Association of South East Nations (ASEAN), and Korea, and there are trade and aid agreements with the Central Asian countries of the Caucasus.
The UK also participates in region-to-region trade co-operation and regular contacts through the EU, with:
- the Asia-Europe Meeting
- the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC)
The European Commission provides details of EU trade relations with individual Asian and Pacific countries.