ASEAN Diaspora round table London: In or Out of Europe?

A round table meeting will be held at the National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, London, on the 18 April 2016, for discussions on the EU Referendum and the impact of a Brexit on trade between UK and the ASEAN countries.

The event will be hosted by London Assembly list candidate, Merlene Toh Emerson and Datuk Lingham, the president of ASEAN UK Business Forum, with special guest speaker Nick Hopkinson, Chair of the Liberal Democrats European Group.

People from the ASEAN diaspora communities in London are welcome to attend this round table discussion to give their view points and opinions.

Please email: [email protected] for an invitation

Other distinguished guests attending include: Amelia Aimee Alado (Philippines), Rev Vincent Aun (Singapore), Councillor Dawood Akhoon (Myanmar), Em Reynolds (Cambodia), Khianh Minh Ho, Chair of AUBF (originally from Vietnam), Chloris Bolivar Flint, tax and business consultant (originally from Philippines)…and more.

Liberal Democrat’s London Assembly candidate Merlene Toh Emerson said: 

I believe it is important for the UK to have an industrial strategy and for the government to support vital growth and export sectors. Small and medium sized British companies need more support from UKTI than the large multi nationals. To help these companies export, their first step should be to trade within the EU. And then upon gaining the experience, they can venture further afield with greater confidence to Asia and the ASEAN.

We mustn’t forget that there is already a large ASEAN diaspora community in London and the UK, who can and already facilitate trade and investment between UK and the ASEAN countries. This group do not have any difficulties with cultural or language differences. The current hysteria surrounding immigration and the toxic debate over Brexit is partly due to the lack of understanding of “the other”.

But it is not a zero sum game, and there is not a limited amount of resources nor jobs in the UK to be filled. In fact many immigrants in London and the UK are able to create more opportunities for British companies and new jobs for the British population.

We hope to explore these ideas at the round table and I look forward to hearing of issues or concerns affecting the communities living here, and how I can assist them should I get elected to City Hall.

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