Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today issued the following statement to mark ASEAN Day and 45 years of partnership between Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations:
“Today we celebrate Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Day and the 45th anniversary of Canada’s membership as an ASEAN dialogue partner – one of 11 partners to benefit from this privileged designation.
“The partnership between Canada and ASEAN is rooted in strong people-to-people, trade and diplomatic relations. Canada is home to over one million people of South Asian descent, who contribute greatly to the economic, cultural and social fabric of our country. Together, the economies of ASEAN member states represent Canada’s fourth-largest trading partner, with more than $31 billion in bilateral trade in 2021.
“Canada is committed to further deepening its ties with ASEAN, including through the launch of negotiations on a Canada-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. Marking a historic milestone in our bilateral relationship, this agreement would help strengthen global supply chains, increase trade and investment in the region, and spur long-term job creation and economic growth that benefits all.
“We will continue to work with our ASEAN partners to make further progress on shared priorities, including promoting security in the Indo-Pacific and addressing regional development needs. As the Government of Canada continues the work of developing a new comprehensive strategy for the Indo-Pacific, our partnership with ASEAN and our commitment to the centrality of ASEAN will continue to play a vital role in advancing our diplomatic, economic and common defense systems in the region.
“Today, on the 55th day of ASEAN, which marks the founding of the organization in 1967, I invite all Canadians to celebrate and reflect on the prosperity that these ties continue to create in Canada. and throughout Southeast Asia, as well as the invaluable contributions of Canadians in Southeast Asia. do in our communities. Together, we will continue to create a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific and build a better future for all.