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New UK Envoy Boosts Trade Relations with Malaysia

The United Kingdom’s newly appointed High Commissioner-designate to Malaysia, Ailsa Terry, arrived in Malaysia with high hopes of further strengthening the burgeoning UK-Malaysia relationship. Ms. Terry’s mission centers on elevating bilateral trade ties between the two nations, which are poised to reap the benefits of their first-ever Free Trade Agreement. This landmark trade pact has been made possible through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a significant commitment that the UK recently joined. Taking on her role as the British High Commissioner-designate on August 10, 2023, Ms. Terry succeeds Charles Hay, MVO. She is anticipated to formally present her credentials to His Majesty the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong later this month.

Focusing on the common bonds between the two nations, including shared history and values as Commonwealth members, Ms. Terry emphasized the potential for the UK and Malaysia to collaborate in various domains. These include boosting trade relations, enhancing educational and technological partnerships, addressing climate change, and upholding the international rules-based system. Ms. Terry also highlighted the opportunities to reinforce defence cooperation, notably through the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA).

Given Malaysia’s status as a global biodiversity hotspot, Ms. Terry underlined the significance of the UK-Malaysia Climate Partnership Memorandum of Understanding in promoting closer collaboration. Additionally, she expressed eagerness to collaborate on issues pertinent to regional security, stability, and prosperity, particularly during Malaysia’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2025. Before assuming her current position, Ms. Terry held various key roles within the British diplomatic service. Notably, she directed the FCDO’s Sanctions Directorate from 2022 to 2023, a crucial establishment in response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Her previous accomplishments include serving as the Foreign Affairs Sous-Sherpa and Director during the UK’s Presidency of the G7 in 2021. She also contributed to the National Security Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, which supports the UK National Security Council. Ms. Ailsa Terry’s appointment is poised to mark a new chapter in the UK-Malaysia relationship, amplifying cooperation in various spheres and promising greater economic, diplomatic, and cultural ties between the two nations.