Strengthening Canada-ASEAN economic ties through trade promotion a key component of Canada’s ambitious pro-trade plan to boost exports.
June 5, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today thanked the delegates from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who travelled to Canada to see first-hand the opportunities available to grow the Canada-ASEAN trade and investment partnership. Ministers, high-ranking officials and business representatives from the 10-nation economic bloc visited Vancouver and Toronto for five days to witness Canada’s expertise in transportation infrastructure, strong banking and financial services, energy, manufacturing and high technology.
During their visit, the delegates met with entrepreneurs and stakeholders and toured Port Metro Vancouver—Canada’s Asia-Pacific gateway—from which the sailing time to Asia is up to three days shorter than from other major ports in the Americas. The delegates also observed some of the exciting innovations and technologies being produced at Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Energy in Toronto.
Promoting trade and connecting Canadian businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to international markets and value chains is part of the Global Markets Action Plan to boost exports and create jobs and opportunities.
Minister Fast also announced that he will attend the 46th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Naypyidaw, Burma, in August.
- With over 600 million people, ASEAN is composed of 10 Southeast Asian countries—Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam—representing multiple key markets identified by Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.
- In 2013, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and ASEAN countries grew by 7.3 percent over 2012 and totalled almost $17 billion, an increase of more than 30 percent during the last five years.
- In August 2012, Canada launched the Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) to grow trade and investment ties. The CABC held the first Canada-ASEAN Business Forum in Singapore in October 2013.
- Minister Fast travelled four times to various ASEAN countries in 2013.
- ASEAN has long been a key partner of Canada’s in the Asia-Pacific region. Canada marks 37 years as an ASEAN Dialogue Partner in 2014, making the country one of the association’s longest-standing partners.
“We are continuing to strengthen Canada-ASEAN economic ties, raising the relationship to a whole new level. I am confident that over the past week new opportunities have arisen and partnerships have been forged, reinforcing our people-to-people ties and creating jobs and prosperity.”
– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
“We were pleased to be invited by Minister Fast to Canada to see the tremendous opportunities for collaboration with Canada. We look forward to the continued deepening of our relationship and welcome Canada’s effective engagement and presence within ASEAN, and ASEAN-based institutions, in the coming years.”
– Lim Hong Hin, Deputy Secretary-General, Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade