ASEAN and Canada agreed to redouble efforts to further strengthen their partnership following the 7th Meeting of the ASEAN-Canada Joint Cooperation Committee held at the ASEAN Secretariat on 15 March.

The meeting discussed collaborative initiatives in a wide range of areas across all three pillars of the ASEAN Community. Taking stock of the implementation of ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action (2016-2020), they noted the positive progress made in its implementation with 86% of the action lines being addressed.

ASEAN and Canada emphasised the importance of deepening cooperation through regional programmes and initiatives in the areas of cybersecurity; transnational crimes such as combatting terrorism, violent extremism and trafficking in persons; ad connectivity including through innovative financing for infrastructure projects. Other areas of cooperation include trade facilitation; digital economy; women’s empowerment; renewable energy, climate change; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; mitigation of biological threats; disaster relief; and migrant workers.

Both sides also highlighted their commitments towards the strengthening of international rules-based order as well as multilateral trading system, and agreed to continue exploring the possibility of an ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement in the future. In appreciating Canada’s support to ASEAN Community building and integration efforts, ASEAN highlighted that initiatives such as the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development have contributed to the human capital development in the region. ASEAN looked forward to increased support from Canada in this front.

The meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Min Lwin, Permanent Representative of Myanmar to ASEAN, and Ambassador Diedrah Kelly, Canada’s Ambassador to ASEAN. It was attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States as well as representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat and the Canadian Mission to ASEAN.

Source: ASEAN Secretariat News

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