Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) enjoy a strong and comprehensive bilateral relationship, underpinned by over 40 years of economic, security and political cooperation.
As trading nations, ASEAN countries and Canada know that building comprehensive and inclusive trade partnerships benefit our businesses, our peoples and our economies-especially as we work toward economic recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Yesterday evening, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, virtually co-chaired-along with Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Trần Tuấn Anh-the 9th annual ASEAN Economic Ministers-Canada consultations.
Canada and ASEAN’s 10 member states renewed their commitment to deepen economic relations by endorsing the new, 2021-2025 Work Plan to the 2011 Canada-ASEAN Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment. The Work Plan paves the way for us to build on these shared priorities and strong people-to-people ties to create prosperity for businesses and people in both regions.
With interests in clean tech, infrastructure, advanced technology, agri-foods and more, the Canadian and ASEAN economies are complementary in many ways, presenting opportunities for greater two-way trade and investment. This view was echoed in a presentation by the Canada-ASEAN Business Council, in which it advocated for increased trade and investment between Canada and ASEAN member states.
These multilateral discussions amid COVID-19 demonstrate our shared commitment to open, rules-based international trade and international collaboration during these unprecedented times.
Canada will continue to work closely with ASEAN to build on our strong partnership to foster business growth, and fuel the economic recovery from COVID-19 for people in both regions.
“As we continue to promote open and rules-based trade, expanding Canada’s trade with ASEAN’s dynamic and fast-growing markets is a priority for Canada. With many shared goals and values between our economies, stronger economic ties with ASEAN will benefit businesses and people for years to come, particularly on the road to global economic recovery from COVID-19.”
– Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
As a group, ASEAN countries ranks as Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner.
Canada’s bilateral merchandise trade relationship with ASEAN reached $27.2 billion in 2019, up from $25.2 billion in 2018.
ASEAN was established on August 8, 1967. Its 10 member states are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It also has two observer states: Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.
The Canada-ASEAN Business Council was established in 2012, is based in Singapore and has a representative office in Calgary, Canada.