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Minister Fast Welcomes First ASEAN Trade Delegation to CanadaTuesday, June 03, 2014 > 08:50:35
June 2, 2014 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today welcomed ministers and high-ranking officials from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to Canada. Under the theme Connectivity and Innovation, the delegation kicked off their five-day trade visit in Vancouver, before travelling to Toronto to see more Canadian expertise showcased.
ASEAN is composed of the fastest-growing and most dynamic markets in the Asia-Pacific region and collectively ranks as Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner. Strengthening trade and investment links with ASEAN is a key component of Canada’s ambitious pro-trade plan.
Canadian businesses and stakeholders will meet with the delegation, highlighting what Canada has to offer as a partner in supply chains, innovation, energy, education and infrastructure.
Trade promotion and connecting Canadian businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to international markets is part of Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan to boost exports and create jobs and opportunities.
- In 2013, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and the 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.
- ASEAN members are a leading destination for Canadian investment in Asia, with the country’s known ASEAN investment reaching about $6.1 billion at the end of 2013, exceeding Canadian investments in mainland China and India.
- 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.
- ASEAN has long been a key partner of Canada’s in Asia. Canada marks 37 years as an ASEAN Dialogue Partner in 2014, making the country one of the association’s longest-standing partners.
- 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.
- Minister Fast visited ASEAN countries four times in 2013.