Canada Strengthens Partnership with ASEAN

July 2, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today concluded participation at the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Canada Post Ministerial Conference and ASEAN Regional Forum. On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Development, Baird announced details of additional funding commitments for ASEAN-Canada cooperative initiatives, including three development initiatives.

“The level of cooperation and engagement that underpins ASEAN-Canada relations is growing every year and keeps getting stronger,” said Baird. “Canada continues to be a significant contributor to ASEAN’s community-building objectives, and we will continue to increase our engagement to its fullest potential.

“Expanded economic opportunity is enhanced by stable and secure markets in regions devoid of conflict. Canada is pleased to announce additional projects in Southeast Asia that will contribute to fostering peace, security and prosperity in the region.” - [Download Video Quote]

Fulfilling a commitment Baird made last year, Canadian funding for ASEAN will include:

  • Training in financial regulation worth up to $2 million, in partnership with the renowned Toronto Centre, to strengthen economic ties within and between ASEAN and non-ASEAN partners;
  • Support of $4.5 million over three years for an ASEAN infrastructure centre of excellence based in Singapore that will facilitate pioneering private-public partnerships devoted to ASEAN-wide connectivity;
  • Support of $10 million over four years to lessen the effects of natural disasters (in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank); and
  • An additional $5-million contribution toward security initiatives in Southeast Asia. In support of the ASEAN Regional Forum, these new projects will build the capacity of regional law-enforcement agencies to conduct counter-terrorism investigations and collaborate with ASEAN member states, and will contribute to legislative reform and enforcement to combat the financing of terrorism in Southeast Asia.

Baird also highlighted Canada’s investment of $8 million over the last 18 months in the Southeast Asia region through Grand Challenges Canada to support applied medical research, with an additional $1 million this year to empower ASEAN-based entrepreneurs and innovators to address science, technology and health priorities in ASEAN.

“Canada and Asia have long-standing relationship that spans development and security cooperation to trade. We are proud to contribute to pan-ASEAN initiatives that will assist the most vulnerable in the region to achieve their full potential,” said Minister Fantino. “The initiatives announced today will help improve regional infrastructure, financial-sector integration, and Southeast Asia’s ability to withstand natural disasters and protect years of investment and advancement.”

Canada’s relationship with ASEAN has grown significantly since Canada first became a Dialogue Partner 36 years ago. This strategic partnership now encompasses extensive political, economic, social and cultural cooperation that is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, as well as ensuring greater security for all Canadians.

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