Senior officials from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand and from the ASEAN Secretariat based in Jakarta, met with their Canadian counterparts in Ottawa, October 30 – 31, for the Third Meeting of the ASEAN – Canada Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC).

The JCC was established under the Economic Cooperation Agreement which came into force on June 1, 1982. Its task is to promote and review the various forms of cooperation envisaged under the Agreement – industrial cooperation, commercial cooperation and development cooperation.

The Committee also reviews recent trends in the international economic situation. Both Canada and ASEAN agreed on the urgent need to revive a free and open multilateral trading system and to resist protectionism.

During the course of the JCC, the ASEAN delegates met with the Secretary of State for External Affairs, the Right Honourable Joe Clark, and the Minister for International Trade, the Honourable James Kelleher. Mr. Clark stressed Canada’s support for ASEAN as an important force for economic- and social. progress and as a significant factor in regional peace and security.

A wide range of international issues affecting ASEAN – Canada trade relations were discussed at this JCC. it was also agreed that Canada would organize a Forum in Vancouver sometime in 1986 devoted to bringing together senior private sector decision makers.

As in previous JCC meetings, there were extensive discussions on international development issues. A progress report showed there has been considerable progress made with on-going projects. A number of new project proposals were tabled for Canadian consideration.

Given the importance of these meetings, arrangements were made for the ASEAN officials to meet with Canadian media representatives. Questions focused on the growing importance of Canada – ASEAN trade links, and political and economic conditions in Southeast Asia

The Fourth Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting will be held in Thailand in November 1986.