ASEAN, Canada deepen longstanding partnership

05/04/2023    61

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Canada reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen their longstanding partnership, at the 11th ASEAN-Canada Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting held on April 3 at the ASEAN Secretariat.  

The meeting reviewed the progress of the ASEAN-Canada partnership which has expanded to cover a wide range of areas of cooperation across the three pillars of ASEAN Community and was pleased with the significant progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action (2021-2025).

To further deepen its engagement and in support of its collaborative programmes with ASEAN, Canada highlighted the establishment of the ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action Trust Fund this year.

For future cooperation, ASEAN and Canada highlighted the importance of enhancing partnership in the four key areas outlined in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific through concrete projects to support its implementation.

Both sides also emphasised the need to work closely in areas of food security; Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda; and human rights and the protection of migrant workers through the extension of Tripartite Action for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in the ASEAN Region (TRIANGLE in ASEAN) Phase II until 2024. In addition, the meeting encouraged Canada to increase the number of scholarships and the human development programmes for ASEAN.

Both sides also recognised the importance of working together in the areas of trade and investment; tourism; digital economy; micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); women economic empowerment; public health; infrastructure and connectivity. Additionally, both sides also looked forward to the progress in the ongoing ASEAN-Canada Free Trade (FTA) negotiations.

The meeting flagged the need to develop practical programmes and activities that are tangible, sustainable, mutually beneficial, regional, and pertinent to current challenges. Canada also reaffirmed its commitment to support Timor-Leste as observer of ASEAN with the relevant capacity building programmes.

Recalling the successful ASEAN-Canada Commemorative Summit that marked the 45th anniversary of their dialogue relations last year, both sides looked forward to the adoption of a joint statement to establish their strategic partnership at the ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting in July this year./.

Source: Vietnam Plus