Expanding Canada’s Ties with Asian Powerhouses

June 28, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will travel to Southeast Asia and China on June 30, 2013, to promote Canada’s interests and values in this fast-growing region.

At the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings in Brunei, Baird will meet all 10 ASEAN Foreign Ministers and colleagues from across the Asia-Pacific region, then he will make an official visit to China to meet key members of that country’s new leadership.

“Asia’s rise is transforming and enriching billions of lives at breath-taking speed,” said Baird. “Our government and Canadian businesses realize that Asia is full of opportunities to expand Canada’s economic prosperity. We know that Canada must take an active role in this part of the world. We view it as a national imperative.”

At ASEAN meetings in Brunei, Baird will work with his counterparts to deepen relations and increase Canada’s engagement with this strategically important community of nations. This year marks 36 years of friendship and partnership between Canada and ASEAN. The relationship is more important than ever for our prosperity and security. In 2012, Canada-ASEAN merchandise trade was valued at $15.8 billion, making ASEAN countries, as a group, Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner.

Following the ASEAN meetings, Baird will visit China. Meeting with key members of China’s new leadership, Baird will forge relationships that can benefit Canada’s economic interests while also promoting Canadian values.

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