Recent statements and events from South Asia and highlights of Britain's work in the region.
First British Muslim Minister Shahid Malik Visits Indonesia
Department for International Development, 7/3/2020
Foreign Secretary David Miliband: Dilemmas of Democracy: Work in Progress in Afghanistan, Pakistan
FCO, London, 5/21/2008
Statement by Foreign Secretary David Miliband in the Security Council Debate on Post-Conflict Stabilization: Peace after War
FCO, London, 5/21/2008
UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband Holds Press Conference During Official Visit to Pakistan
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, 4/22/2008
FCO Minister: Taking Stock in Pakistan - Recent Developments and Future Trends
FCO, London, 4/1/2021
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South Asia is one of the world's most fascinating and exciting regions. It is a region whose influence in global politics and economies is growing fast. Economic growth has accelerated and its economies are growing by more than 5% a year. Also, international trade and investment are increasing into and out of the region.
Regional cooperation is important to stimulate South Asia's economic growth but it is also a means of tackling broader issues. It is about working together to tackle the political and social challenges, which face a region and increasingly, the whole world: terrorism, weapons proliferation, poverty and the spread of disease. A strong South Asia can make a vital contribution to the world and serve as a beacon for the rest of the developing world.
Role for Britain and the International Community
The task for Britain and the international community is to help encourage the region to work towards a stable and secure South Asia by addressing outstanding differences; fund projects that contribute towards improving relations; reduce conflict and poverty in areas such as India and Pakistan.
Bilateral relations have steadily strengthened over the last few years and are now at their healthiest for a very long time. This is reflected in a number of areas, including closeness on current international issues; bilateral trade; increased education links, and increased UK development assistance over the next two years. Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited in January 2008, which served to underline the strength and vitality of the relationship and boost the image of Britain. There has been a steady stream of ministerial visits in both directions since then and this trend continues. Today, the UK is India's third largest trade partner and India is the UK's second largest export market in the developing world.
Relations between the UK and Pakistan are warm and close, made even more so by the substantial number of British citizens of Pakistani origin (some 800,000) who live in the UK. UK government leaders including the prime minister and Cabinet ministers have visited Pakistan a number of times over recent years and the prime minister has hosted President Musharraf a number of times in Downing Street. The two leaders have over the years launched initiatives aimed at further strengthening bilateral cooperation in the judicial, defense and commercial spheres. The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) works with the Pakistan government, multilateral and bilateral partners, civil society and the private sector to achieve the Millennium Development Goals through support consistent with Pakistan's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.
Additional information can be found on the UK's involvement in: