Second AEM-Canada Consultations
August 21, 2013 - Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Joint Media Statement
- The second ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM)-Canada Consultations were held on August 21, 2013, in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. The consultations were co-chaired by the Honourable Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Brunei Darussalam’s Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Honourable Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade.
- The ministers were pleased with the encouraging growth of total merchandise trade between ASEAN and Canada, despite the continued uncertainty in the global economy. According to Canadian trade statistics, ASEAN-Canada merchandise trade between 2007 and 2012 expanded by nearly 27.4 percent, which averages to an almost 5-percent annual growth rate. Bilateral trade was valued at US$15.8 billion in 2012.
- Known Canadian direct investment in ASEAN exceeded that in Japan (or in China and India combined) in 2012.
- Minister Fast congratulated ASEAN on the substantial progress it has made toward its 2015 ASEAN Economic Community objective. He commended his ASEAN colleagues on their great efforts toward market integration and pledged Canada’s continued support.
- The ASEAN economic ministers applauded Canada for its increased engagement with ASEAN and the initiatives taken toward achieving the objectives of the 2012-2015 Work Plan to Implement the ASEAN-Canada Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment. The work plan includes enhancing senior-level dialogue on trade and investment, promoting increased trade and investment between ASEAN and Canada, as well as increasing the private sector’s involvement in promoting trade and investment. Several interrelated key activities have been or will be implemented, including the first ASEAN-Canada Corporate Social Responsibility Workshop, held on February 27, 2013, in Singapore, and Canada’s active participation at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. The ministers also acknowledged Canada’s recent announcements supporting ASEAN’s economic integration agenda, specifically the US$2 million to provide ASEAN with financial regulations training and US$4.3 million over three years to support an ASEAN public-private partnership centre of excellence, in partnership with Singapore and the Asian Development Bank.
- The ministers held a dialogue with the Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) during the consultations and were impressed with the initiatives carried out by the council since its establishment last year. The initiatives include the ASEAN Business Opportunities Study, which outlined the key commercial opportunities for Canadian and ASEAN private sector companies, the ASEAN Business Climate Survey, which aims to generate concrete suggestions to improve the ASEAN Economic Community from the business perspective, and the Canada-ASEAN Business Forum, scheduled for October 8 and 9, 2013, in Singapore. The ministers commended the CABC for its efforts and encouraged the council to continue working closely with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council.
- The ministers acknowledged that there are significant and growing opportunities to further develop trade and investment between ASEAN and Canada. The ministers agreed that bringing an AEM road show to Canada in 2014 would be a timely way to promote the ASEAN Economic Community to the business community and other stakeholders in Canada. The ministers concluded the meeting by agreeing to meet next year for the third AEM-Canada Consultation.
List of Ministers
- The Hon. Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam
- The Hon. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, Canada
- H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
- H.E. Bayu Krisnamurthi, Vice Minister of Trade, Indonesia
- H.E. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- H.E. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
- H.E. Dr. Kan Zaw, Union Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar
- H.E. Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines
- H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
- H.E. Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, Minister of Commerce, Thailand
- H.E. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, Vietnam
- H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN
Photo: Minister Fast (centre left) and Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Brunei’s Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (centre right), together with the ASEAN economic ministers (AEM) during the second AEM-Canada Consultations.
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