Joint Declaration on the Asean-Canada Enhanced Partnership

INSPIRED by the long standing relations between ASEAN and Canada which were established in 1977 and which have grown and expanded to encompass a wide range of political, economic, social and cultural, and developmental areas;

NOTING with satisfaction the achievements made under the ASEAN-Canada Joint Cooperation Work Plan (2005-2007), and reinforcing our commitment to the implementation of the ASEAN-Canada Joint Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2010) which aims to enhance the ASEAN-Canada relationship through comprehensive dialogue and cooperation and to support ASEAN’s regional integration efforts;

RECOGNISING the need to enhance cooperation in realising the full potential of the ASEAN-Canada relationship in all areas of common interests;

CONVINCED that the conclusion of an ASEAN-Canada Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) would promote greater flow of trade and investment between ASEAN and Canada;

DETERMINED to advance ASEAN-Canada cooperation in areas of mutual interest to meet interrelated challenges, especially in the areas of climate change, energy security, food security and sustainable development, and to cooperate to promote greater financial stability, including through the reform of the international financial institutions;

COMMENDING the ASEAN Charter which marks a new level in ASEAN regional integration and sets a firm basis for its further community building;

EXPRESSING full support for the realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015 which would consist of the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC); ASEAN Economic Community (AEC); and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC);

ACKNOWLEDGING ASEAN's centrality and the leading role it plays in all ASEAN-related regional architecture, in particular the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as the main forum for regional dialogue and political and security cooperation in the Asia Pacific;

FURTHER acknowledging the importance of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) as a milestone in the regional code of conduct for interstate relations and promoting regional peace and stability;

RECOGNISING the need to strengthen the promotion and the protection of human rights through practical steps and closer cooperation, including in international fora;


Launch an ASEAN-Canada Enhanced Partnership that is comprehensive, action-oriented and forward-looking. The Partnership will comprise political-security cooperation; economic cooperation; and social-cultural, development and technical cooperation including, but not limited to, the following elements:

Political-Security Cooperation

1. Enhance dialogue and support efforts to realise the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) as set out in the APSC Blueprint in order to help promote peace, stability, security, democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, rule of law, good governance, development and prosperity in the region as inscribed by the ASEAN Charter;

2. Promote closer cooperation in combating transnational crime, including terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, money laundering, arms smuggling, sea piracy, cyber crime and international economic crime by undertaking joint activities based on the existing agreements and mechanisms;

3. Consider Canada’s early accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC);

4. Strengthen cooperation within the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) framework and support ASEAN as the driving force in the ARF;

5. Promote collaboration within multilateral and regional frameworks, especially the United Nations (UN);

Economic Cooperation 

6. Support the realisation of an ASEAN Economic Community, including through technical cooperation in capacity building and training, and sharing of information on trade and investment opportunities;

7. Intensify ASEAN-Canada economic relations, particularly in the areas of trade in goods and services, industrial cooperation and investment in order to increase the volume of trade and investment;

8. Work towards the conclusion of an ASEAN-Canada Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement as well as ensure the full implementation of the Arrangement thereafter;

9. Promote and facilitate greater involvement of the private sector in economic cooperation activities between ASEAN and Canada, particularly in the area of small and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), energy and renewable energy and tourism;

10. Strengthen cooperation in clean and renewable energy areas, such as, hydropower, solar power, hydrogen, fuel cells, and biomass, and in energy efficiency and conservation;

11. Contribute to the ASEAN Integration by supporting ASEAN Sub-regional development areas and the building of the ASEAN Community by 2015;

12. Promote closer cooperation in improving human capital and workforce skills especially through the training and exchanging of skilled workers;

13. Strengthen collaboration in multilateral frameworks on regional and international trade and economy, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and support the early accession of the Lao PDR to the World Trade Organization (WTO);

14. Explore opportunities to collaborate with the international financial institutions (IFIs), which serve as partners in the pursuit of global economic growth and development;

15. Enhance transport cooperation in matters of aviation policy, including market access, information sharing, human resource training and capacity building;

Social and Cultural Cooperation 

16. Enhance cooperation in support of the implementation of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint;

17. Cooperate at the regional level on disaster risk reduction and response, including technical cooperation, joint research, and networking;

18. Work together to enhance ASEAN’s preparedness and capacity to prevent and respond in a timely manner to communicable and infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, avian and pandemic influenza, and emerging public health threats;

19. Promote closer cooperation in environmental protection, conservation and sustainable natural resources management;

20. Strengthen cooperation in the areas of science and technology, mining, food, agriculture and forestry and rural development;

21. Enhance cooperation in education, including student and academic exchanges, fellowship programmes, academic attachment and research collaboration, and the exchange of data and other information on education including those on trade and professional practice;

22. Enhance mutual understanding among the peoples of ASEAN and Canada and promote closer people-to-people contacts, in particular among the youth and media, as well as interfaith dialogues and exchanges of cultural, arts and heritage activities; Development and Technical Cooperation

23. Continue cooperation to support ASEAN Community building efforts, through the current and future ASEAN development cooperation programmes, the implementation of the IAl Work Plan 2 (2009-2015) and other sub-regional frameworks in ASEAN which would alleviate poverty, narrow the development gap, and promote sustainable development and integration in ASEAN;

24. Further cooperate on a joint basis to assist countries in the region to better address various transnational issues including health, environment, climate change, and disaster management among others;

Implementation Arrangements

In order to implement the objectives of this Joint Declaration, we agree to the following:

25. Develop a comprehensive, mutually beneficial, action-oriented, forward looking and encompassing Plan of Action to implement the ASEAN-Canada Enhanced Partnership to succeed the ASEAN-Canada Joint Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2010);

26. Undertake that the implementation of the Joint Declaration will be annually reviewed by existing ASEAN-Canada mechanisms and reported to the ASEAN PMC + 1 Session with Canada. 

Canada is also delighted to have concluded the first commercial instrument with ASEAN: the ASEAN-Canada Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment.