Two years ago when the European sovereign debt crisis was starting to worsen, a challenge was posed to do something that would be beneficial for our party and our country. At the same time, there was growing awareness of a need to reconnect with the Commonwealth. An initiative was therefore launched with the focus on Malaysia and an exploratory trip to Kuala Lumpur was undertaken in February this year. From a NGO caring for vulnerable people and the learning disabled, there was a request for support with its delivery of healthcare services. Then, during discussions at the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office, two issues emerged. One was a need to improve English Language skills and the other was a strong desire to escalate direct bilateral relations in the small and medium enterprise sectors. At a separate meeting, the directors of SME Bank of Malaysia expressed their wish to work with the British in developing trade and the exchange of technical knowledge in the small and medium enterprise sectors. The potential advantages for both countries were apparent but, sadly, without interest and support from parliamentary colleagues in Westminster, SME Bank of Malaysia signed a MOU with SME Bank of Russia earlier this month for the same purpose.