A FEW weeks ago, I was appointed a trade envoy by the prime minister.

Trade envoys are a relatively recent innovation, introduced by the former prime minister David Cameron. They are a mixture of MPs and peers, and come from all three main political parties, and do not receive a salary.

There are about thirty trade envoys in total. Their role is to support foreign office and trade ministers in their vital job of building strong relationships with key countries around the world. Personal contact and in-depth knowledge are vital to Britain’s trade interests, and there is no way that the eight or so ministers in the Foreign and Trade ministries could possibly have the time to build relationships across all the countries we are targeting.

Trade envoys cover countries in Latin America, Africa, and South East Asia. I have been given responsibility for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and I have already managed to make one visit to Vietnam. It is an amazing country. My pub quiz question is to ask people to guess the population of Vietnam. Invariably, they suggest between 20 and 30 million. In fact, it is almost 100 million. Almost two-thirds of the population is under 30, and it is growing very fast, with economic growth averaging above six per cent every year.

A visit to Vietnam gives a great insight into what Britain’s strengths are, and where the opportunities lie – especially after Brexit.

Britain is hugely respected for the quality of our education, and there are already flourishing partnerships between British universities and colleges and their counterparts in Vietnam. We are also very strong in financial services. The Prudential, for example, employs hundreds of thousands of people in Vietnam, and there are great opportunities to provide insurance and other financial products in the country. Many British companies also make furniture, clothes and shoes in Vietnam, which is widely respected for the quality of its manufacturing. Tourism is a growing market, with 250,000 Brits now visiting every year, and with the first direct flights to the country now in place. As it grows as a destination, there will be a chance to sell planes and airport services as well.

Our construction sector also has good links. While in Ho Chi Minh city (the former Saigon), I visited Landmark 81, which, when it opens, will be the tallest building in South East Asia, and the tenth tallest in the world. British companies like MACE and Atkins have been involved in the design and construction, bringing in high standards on health and safety.

Like every country, there is also a flourishing tech sector, and I was lucky enough to meet many young entrepreneurs who are very similar to those I meet in Britain.

I’m delighted to be given this opportunity, and I look forward to helping British businesses find the chance to export their expertise, services and goods to this magnificent country.