Canada-ASEAN trade and investment
As a group of countries, the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) represent Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner (2016). Canada’s trade and investment in Southeast Asia is expanding quickly – not only is trade and investment between Canada and ASEAN member states increasing in volume, but the breadth of the trading relationship is growing in many sectors, including oil and gas, mining, high tech, telecommunications, agri-food, financial services, aviation and consumer goods.
Canada-ASEAN Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment
Canada and ASEAN are party to the Canada-ASEAN Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment (JDTI), agreed to in 2011, which provides a useful platform for Canada and ASEAN to identify and exchange information on trade and investment opportunities and to strengthen commercial engagement.
In August of 2015, Canada and the ASEAN member states adopted a new work plan to guide the implementation of the JDTI from 2016-2020. Efforts are focused in a number of areas, including small and medium-sized enterprises, connectivity, education, innovation and corporate social responsibility.
Canada’s ambitious trade agenda in the region is supported by:
- Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs) between Canada and the Philippines and Canada and Thailand
- exploratory discussions on possible free trade agreements with the Philippines and Thailand.
Support for Canadian businesses in the ASEAN region
The Canadian government’s Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) has offices in Canadian diplomatic missions in each of the ten ASEAN member states. This network of trade and investment promotion experts works in direct support of Canadian companies active in the region, providing advice and problem-solving skills. In Southeast Asia, trade commissioners are active in many sectors, including: aerospace, defence and security; extractive industries; information and communications technologies; infrastructure; and sustainable technologies.
The Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) established in 2012 and based in Singapore, is a member-based industry association focused on increasing private sector cooperation between Canadian and ASEAN businesses, creating a platform for businesses from Canada and Southeast Asia to discuss challenges and opportunities.
- If ASEAN were one economy it would be the seventh largest in the world.
- ASEAN is one of the world’s fastest-growing economic regions, with a GDP estimated at over CAD $3.1 trillion in 2015.
- In 2016, Canada-ASEAN merchandise trade reached CAD $21.6 billion.
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