January 18, 2013 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), departs today for Asia, where she will meet with local officials and Canadians living and travelling in key Asian travel destinations. The visit, which will include time in New Delhi, Bangkok and Hong Kong, will provide an important opportunity for Canada to strengthen cooperation in consular matters and share best practices.
“Our government is committed to giving travelling Canadians the best possible consular assistance and to ensuring they are supported if they hit bumps while on the road,” said Minister Ablonczy. “Canada also works closely with foreign governments around the world on consular matters. I look forward to meeting with officials in Asia in order to boost cooperation and to discuss ways of encouraging safe travel to the region with a goal of preventing consular issues.”
In New Delhi, the Minister will meet with Vayalar Ravi, India’s Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, and with Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs. The Minister will also visit the National Disaster Management Authority, accompanied by its vice-chairman, Shashidhar Reddy, and participate in a round-table discussion with key consular stakeholders.
In Bangkok, Minister Ablonczy will meet with Jullapong Nonsrichai, Thailand’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs. She will also have other meetings, including with Canadian teachers based in Bangkok.
In Hong Kong, the Minister will meet with Lai Tung-Kwok, Secretary for Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and with Canadian business leaders active in Hong Kong.
India, Thailand, Hong Kong and mainland China are the four most popular Asian destinations for Canadian travellers.
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A backgrounder follows.
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
Canada’s consular services operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a network of more than 260 offices in over 150 countries. This network includes embassies, high commissions and consulates.
Canadians travelling abroad should be aware that there are limits to the assistance consular officers can provide and that Canadians are subject to local laws. Although travellers are primarily responsible for their own safety and security, Canadian officials are there to help in emergencies.
For more information, please visit travel.gc.ca.