Global Britain in Southeast Asia: Ambitions, Strategies and Challenges


About the Webinar

Post-Brexit, the United Kingdom’s (UK) ‘tilt’ to the Indo-Pacific includes a strong emphasis on increasing the country’s political, economic and security engagement with Southeast Asia. In pursuit of this policy, the UK has already achieved considerable progress in 2021. Britain has attained ASEAN Dialogue Partner status, submitted its application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and deployed Carrier Strike Group-21, led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, to Southeast Asia including the South China Sea. This webinar will discuss the UK’s Southeast Asia policy in the context of its overall Indo-Pacific vision, the priorities and prospects in ASEAN-UK dialogue relations, and the challenges and constraints the UK faces as it looks to increase its engagement with the region. The webinar will also consider Southeast Asia’s expectations and concerns over the UK’s geopolitical ambitions, and the specific areas where both sides can strengthen cooperation for mutual benefit.

Download the event programme here.

About the Speakers

Jon Lambe is the first dedicated UK Ambassador to ASEAN. He joined the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in 2010. He has served in London, leading work on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, as Deputy Ambassador and Political Counsellor at the British Embassy in Kinshasa, and as First Secretary, Energy, Climate Change and Development at the British Embassy in Paris. Before joining the FCDO, Jon worked in the Department for Education and HM Revenue and Customs. He has a BSc in Mathematics from Imperial College, London and an MSc in Finance and Economic Policy from the University of London.

Veerle Nouwens is Senior Research Fellow at the International Security Studies Department of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the UK, where she leads the Indo-Pacific Programme. Veerle focusses on geopolitical relations in the Indo-Pacific region, China’s foreign policy, and maritime security. Prior to joining RUSI, Veerle worked for the European External Action Service at the Delegation of the European Union to Singapore. In this role, she focused on EU-Singapore bilateral relations and Europe’s role in Southeast Asia. Veerle holds an MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford, and has attended semester programs at both Peking University and Tsinghua University.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak is Professor and Director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. He completed his post-graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Economics, having held visiting positions at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Stanford University, Yangon University, Victoria University in New Zealand, and the University of Tubingen in Germany, and currently serves on several editorial boards of academic journals. He has authored a host of articles, books, book chapters and over 1,000 op-eds in the mass media such as the Bangkok Post, the Straits Times and the Nikkei Asian Review. In 2015, he was awarded a prize for excellence in opinion writing from the Society of Publishers in Asia, and was appointed ASEAN@50 Fellow by New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade in 2018 and Australia-ASEAN Fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney in 2019.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Click on the unique link in your email.

If you have questions for the speaker and discussants, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker and the discussants during the Q&A session.


Aug 26 2021


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm