Minister Fast Welcomes First ASEAN Trade Delegation to Canada

Strengthening Canada-ASEAN trade and investment ties to create jobs and opportunities

June 2, 2014 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today welcomed ministers and high-ranking officials from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to Canada. Under the theme Connectivity and Innovation, the delegation kicked off their five-day trade visit in Vancouver, before travelling to Toronto to see more Canadian expertise showcased.

ASEAN is composed of the fastest-growing and most dynamic markets in the Asia-Pacific region and collectively ranks as Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner. Strengthening trade and investment links with ASEAN is a key component of Canada’s ambitious pro-trade plan.

Canadian businesses and stakeholders will meet with the delegation, highlighting what Canada has to offer as a partner in supply chains, innovation, energy, education and infrastructure.

Trade promotion and connecting Canadian businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to international markets is part of Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan to boost exports and create jobs and opportunities.

Quick Facts

  • In 2013, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and the ASEAN countries grew by 7.3 percent over 2012 and totalled almost $17 billion, an increase of more than 30 percent during the last five years.
  • ASEAN members are a leading destination for Canadian investment in Asia, with the country’s known ASEAN investment reaching about $6.1 billion at the end of 2013, exceeding Canadian investments in mainland China and India.
  • In August 2012, Canada launched the Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC), to grow trade and investment ties. The CABC held the first Canada-ASEAN Business Forum in Singapore in October 2013.
  • ASEAN has long been a key partner of Canada’s in Asia. Canada marks 37 years as an ASEAN Dialogue Partner in 2014, making the country one of the association’s longest-standing partners.
  • With over 600 million people, ASEAN is composed of 10 Southeast Asian countries—Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam—representing multiple key markets identified by Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.
  • Minister Fast visited ASEAN countries four times in 2013.


“Strengthening economic ties with ASEAN and opening new markets for our exporters are part of the Government of Canada’s ambitious pro-trade plan to create jobs and opportunities for hard-working Canadians and businesses. This is why I continue to advance Canada’s interests throughout that dynamic and fast-growing region. I’m pleased to showcase Canada's expertise in many sectors so my colleagues can learn more about opportunities for collaboration with Canadian companies and our Asia-Pacific Gateway, as well as see first-hand the exciting innovations and technologies coming out of Canada.”

- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

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Shannon Gutoskie
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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Backgrounder - Participants in the ASEAN Road Show

Lim Hong Hin, Deputy Secretary-General, Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei

Kan Zaw, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Burma

Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia

Bayu Krisnamurti, Vice-Minister of Trade, Indonesia (Toronto, June 5)

Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono, Director for ASEAN Cooperation, Indonesia (Vancouver, June 1-2; Toronto, June 4)

Bounsom Phommavihane, Director General, Foreign Trade Policy Department, Laos

Datuk Hj Hamim bin Samuri, Deputy Minister, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia

Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr., Undersecretary, Industry Development and Trade Policy Group, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines

Ng How Yue, Second Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore

Pisan Manawapat, Ambassador to Canada, Thailand

Nguyen Cam Tu, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Vietnam