(KPL) The British Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Mrs Healther Wheeler, visited Laos this week as part of a four-day trip to Southeast Asia.

The British minister is on a working visit to Laos, Cambodia and Thailand to discuss strengthening ties with the region, the role of women, environmental conservation and de-mining.

Mrs Healther Wheeler met with Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Sengphet Houngboungnuang to discuss the bilateral relationship, including trade.

She also met Minister of Health Bounkong Sihavong to discuss UK-Laos co-operation in tackling anti-microbial resistance.

The minister heard how UK funding is helping Mine Action Group, the Halo Trust and Norwegian People’s Aid to clear existing mines and educate locals about the risk of unexploded ordnance in the region.  

The visiting minister also met female members of the National Assembly to discuss the work of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy’s support to the assembly, saw how rugby has transformed the lives of young women and girls in Laos with the Lao Rugby Federation, and met students at Vientiane High School to announce the launch of the British Embassy’s short film competition on the illegal wildlife trade.

“Brexit is an opportunity for UK to think in a truly global manner. In that spirit, and as the Minister for Asia Pacific, I want to build a stronger relationship with the countries of South East Asia and ASEAN,” said Minister Healther Wheeler.

“I am excited to be visiting these three key countries of South East Asia with which the UK has increasingly close ties. Through this visit I want to demonstrate the UK’s recommitment to supporting the people of the Mekong and I’m delighted to be discussing trade opportunities, the role of women in society and global challenges like climate change,” added the British Minister.