The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, yesterday concluded her participation in the annual ASEAN-Canada Post-Ministerial Conference and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meetings held this year in Bangkok, Thailand. While in Bangkok, the Minister discussed a range of regional and international issues, including tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the protection of the rules-based trading system, the South China Sea and the Rohingya crisis.
The ASEAN meetings provided an opportunity for the Minister to exchange views with her counterparts on pressing security issues and to reaffirm a shared commitment in promoting multilateralism and defending the rules-based international order. During her visit, Minister Freeland had bilateral meetings with counterparts from Bangladesh, China, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Vietnam, as well as a conversation with the US Secretary of State.
“As a dynamic partner of ASEAN for the last 42 years, Canada continues to realize the benefits of our special relationship. Canada’s ongoing support to Southeast Asia is an indication that our commitment to address security challenges, trade, human rights and development for people in the region is strong.”
– Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
ASEAN represents a dynamic region with over 647 million people and a combined GDP of over US$2.92 trillion.
Canada has been an ASEAN dialogue partner for the last 42 years. Canada is a founding member of the ARF, the premier foreign-minister-led multilateral security and defence forum in the Indo-Pacific region.
Canada partners with ASEAN on a wide range of issues, from respect for justice and the rule of law to regional peace and stability, human rights and equitable and inclusive trade.
Canada also works closely with ASEAN countries on countering terrorism, counter-proliferation and humanitarian assistance, as well as mitigating and responding to disasters.
Canada will seek to join the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, a key multilateral forum to counter transnational organized crime in the Asia-Pacific region, established in 2002, co-chaired by Australia and Indonesia. The Bali Process is a key multilateral forum enabling the exchange of lessons learned and best practices to counter transnational organized crime in the Asia-Pacific region.