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Canada and the Indo-Pacific

The Indo-Pacific region is of significant importance to Canada. Home to more than half of the global population, it is the fastest-growing economic region in the world.

Canada is a Pacific nation. We recognize that the Indo-Pacific region is critically important for the long-term prosperity, health and security of Canadians. Beyond our 25,000 kilometres of Pacific Ocean coastline, Canadians share history, culture and long-standing trade and development ties with the people of the Indo-Pacific.

As an active, engaged and reliable partner in the Indo-Pacific, Canada will deepen relationships that have been built through decades of government, private sector, security and civil society cooperation. The rising influence of the Indo-Pacific region is a once in a-generation global shift that requires a generational Canadian response.

Canada and the Indo-Pacific – News

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Quick facts about the Indo-Pacific region

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy

On November 27, 2022, Canada launched its Indo-Pacific Strategy, which committed $2.3 billion over 5 years to developing Canada’s engagement in the region. The Strategy is a concrete plan of action to advance and defend Canada’s interests by supporting a more secure, prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable Indo-Pacific region while protecting Canada’s national and economic security at home and abroad.

Our long-term approach is focused on Canada’s commitment to supporting democracy, the rule of law, economic growth and resilience, peace and security, human rights, sustainable development, gender equality, and concrete action to protect the environment.

The Strategy looks to deliver on 24 initiatives over 17 departments and agencies across the federal government, organized under 5 interconnected strategic objectives:

A significant amount of work has been done since the launch of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. All levels of government and society have been engaged in the region more than ever.

Discover Canada's progress on implementing initiatives under the Indo-Pacific Strategy

Regional Security

Stability in the Indo-Pacific is critical to global stability. The region is home to numerous security hotspots with potential global repercussions. As great power competition deepens in the region, inter-state tensions are on the rise.

Canada is engaged in several bilateral and multilateral security consultations and frameworks across the Indo-Pacific. As a founding member of the ASEAN Regional Forum, Canada continues to actively participate in its annual ministerial meetings, and in other foreign policy and defence dialogues.

In addition to regional programming by the Department of National Defence, and deployments by the Canadian Armed Forces, Global Affairs Canada provides security-related programming in Southeast Asia through complementary security programs, including:

The Indo-Pacific Strategy recognizes that Canada must engage as a regional security partner to protect our national interests. Canada will contribute to regional stability through an enhanced military presence, expand existing military capacity building initiatives, and launch new training programs that advance joint priorities and interoperability with regional partners, including in the area of Women, Peace and Security.

Economic and trade relations

Today, the Indo-Pacific makes up more than one third of all global economic activity. Three of the world’s largest economies—the People’s Republic of China (China), India and Japan—are in this part of the world. By 2040—less than two decades from now—the region will account for more than half of the global economy. By 2030, it will be home to two thirds of the global middle class.

The region’s economic dynamism and population growth are driving demand for education, health services, food, agriculture and fisheries, natural resources and critical minerals, energy, financial services, advanced manufacturing and green infrastructure. These are all sectors of strength in Canada and in which Canada has a global reputation for excellence. In the infrastructure sector alone, there is an estimated $2.1 trillion opportunity for strategic investments and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific. Seizing these and other strategic opportunities will help safeguard Canada’s economic security, build our future prosperity and help create good, well-paying jobs.

Canada has prioritized key trade initiatives, including:

Development assistance

Various deep-seated development challenges in the Indo-Pacific are set against a backdrop of geopolitical tensions. Entrenched regional poverty and inequality are further exacerbated by growing pressures from climate change and environmental degradation. As home to 70% of the world’s natural disasters, the region shows the fastest growth in emissions, in addition to accounting for most of the world’s transboundary pollution.

Canadian development assistance to the region provides targeted assistance to support and respond to the needs of Indo-Pacific countries. At its core, Canadian assistance is aligned with our Feminist International Assistance Policy, and looks to contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Through the Indo-Pacific Strategy, Canada will continue to deliver feminist international assistance and defend human rights through partnerships with local governments, regional groups, civil society, academia, and other stakeholders in the region and beyond.

Building partnerships

 A cross-cutting objective of the Indo-Pacific Strategy is for Canada to remain active and engaged, and to build on the strong relationships we have with partners and friends in the Indo-Pacific. Canada does this by deepening our existing friendships and seeking new partners. We must show the world the very best of what Canada has to offer and be a stronger force for positive change.

To achieve these objectives, Canada actively works with key institutional partners that share common interests in the Indo-Pacific region, including:

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