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International Trade Minister Announces Initiatives to Deepen Commercial Relationship with ASEAN's Fast-growing EconomiesWednesday, August 17, 2016 > 09:08:39
(Pacific Customs Brokers)
Global Affairs Canada
At the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Ministers meeting, Canada and ASEAN launched an annual trade policy dialogue, a forum to discuss greater trade liberalization, increased commercial cooperation, and measures to reduce barriers to trade.
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, also co-chaired a meeting with economic ministers of the 10 ASEAN member states during which senior officials were tasked with preparing terms of reference for a feasibility study on the merits of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and this dynamic and fast-growing ASEAN region of over 600 million consumers. The joint feasibility study will explore the opportunities and challenges associated with a possible FTA.
These new initiatives will elevate the Canada-ASEAN partnership to new heights by strengthening engagement and expanding the economic relationship.
“Strengthening commercial ties with ASEAN is part of Canada’s plan to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for the middle class. ASEAN is composed of some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic markets in the Asia-Pacific region, and we are committed to exploring ways to open these markets for Canadians.”
- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of International Trade
As a group, the members of ASEAN rank as Canada’s sixth-largest merchandise trading partner.
In 2015, the value of Canada-ASEAN trade totalled $21.4 billion, and Canada’s commercial engagement with ASEAN in goods, services and investment continues to grow.
Launched in December 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community forms a market of over 600 million consumers and has a combined GDP estimated at over $3.1 trillion.
The members of ASEAN are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.