Britain to boost diplomatic efforts in Asia: FM

17th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday that the country would step up its diplomatic efforts in Asia as it looks to boost commercial ties with the region's fast-growing economies.

"We know that foreign policy and economic success go hand in hand," Hague told the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong.

As economic weight and political influence move east and south, "British diplomacy has to shift its weight accordingly," he added.

The country would strengthen ties with China and India as well as Latin America and the Persian Gulf states, Hague said, calling it a "double imperative" since Britain already worked with many of those nations on global issues including security and climate change.

"We're hard-wiring a commercial focus into our foreign policy," he told the Forum, an annual conference in the former British colony.

Hague was scheduled to visit Australia and New Zealand later this week.

© 2011 AFP

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