Canning will join as a senior adviser having served twice in Indonesia, most recently as British ambassador and previously as Britain’s permanent representative to the Association of South East Asian Nations.
He has also served as British ambassador to Myanmar and as deputy high commissioner to Malaysia. In addition, Canning has held several senior roles within the Foreign & Commonwealth Office both in London and abroad.
Canning has specialised in advising companies on how to negotiate challenging political, regulatory and commercial environments. He has also been involved in major investments in sectors such as energy, mining and manufacturing.
In his new role Canning will work closely with Bell Pottinger’s senior management team in Asia, led by regional chairman Piers Pottinger and Asia CEO Shih-Huei Ang, to help clients access markets in the region.
Pottinger said: "Asia is driving global economic growth and will continue to evolve within the next decade. Mark combines first-rate political, media and commercial expertise from over a decade in this dynamic region, which will be invaluable for clients looking to grow their brands and their business in Asia."
Canning added: "Asia is undoubtedly the world’s most dynamic and stimulating region for doing business today. I look forward to supporting the continued growth of Bell Pottinger in Asia and advising clients on how to develop the multitude of opportunities that exist in the region."