JAKARTA, 12 April 2018 – ASEAN and Canada reaffirmed commitment to strengthen their partnership for mutual benefit, building on the momentum of the 40th Anniversary of their dialogue relations in 2017. This was expressed at the 6th ASEAN-Canada Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting held yesterday at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

Both sides noted that ASEAN-Canada partnership has expanded to cover a wide spectrum of areas under political-security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation and renewed cooperation has also been undertaken through the framework of the Plan of Action (POA) to Implement the ASEAN-Canada Enhanced Partnership (2016-2020).

In this regard, ASEAN and Canada underscored the need to step up cooperation to combat transnational crime and in other areas such as e-commerce and digital economy, gender equality and women empowerment, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, education and scholarships, environment and climate change.

Ambassador Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN and country coordinator for ASEAN-Canada dialogue relations, said that both sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concerns, and agreed to further strengthen existing areas of cooperation and collaborate on potential new opportunities and initiatives as they work together in contributing to the maintenance of regional and global peace, stability and prosperity.

She added that ASEAN noted Canada’s various ongoing and proposed initiatives and projects for the region that are in line with ASEAN’s community building efforts.

Canada’s Ambassador to ASEAN Marie-Louise Hannan emphasized her country’s commitment to ASEAN ‎and the ASEAN-centered regional architecture. According to her, this is demonstrated by Canada’s participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum and Canada’s desire to join other ASEAN-led mechanisms signifying its desire for deeper engagement with the region.

She noted Canada’s new Scholarships and Economic Exchanges for Development program, Canada’s work on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises and Canada’s support for migrant workers across Southeast Asia. She also noted Canada’s desire to pursue free trade negotiations with ASEAN through the launch of exploratory discussions and the early completion of a free trade agreement feasibility study‎.

The Meeting noted Canada’s priorities for its 2018 G7 Presidency and their priority to promote a feminist international assistance policy that seeks to build a more peaceful, prosperous and inclusive world and noted how these Canadian G7 priorities  also support ASEAN ‘s own.

Co-chaired by Ambassador Buensuceso and Ambassador Hannan, the ASEAN–Canada JCC meeting was attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States and representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat and the Canadian Mission to ASEAN.