Jakarta, 24 March 2011

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Canada is interested to join the ASEAN-led East Asia Summit. The news of Canada’s growing interest in ASEAN was conveyed yesterday by Assistant Deputy Minister for Asia Region and Chief Trade Commissioner, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Canada, Peter McGovern, to the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan.

Mr McGovern also informed Dr Surin that, having ratified the Instrument of Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), Canada is ready to sign the Third Protocol Amending the TAC. The Protocol is an effort to include more players in peace and security cooperation in the region. The Protocol would allow not only states but also regional organisations whose members are sovereign states to accede to the TAC.

The Assistant Deputy Minister also said that he expected favourable outcomes of the consultation between Canada and ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting next week, including the finalisation of the ASEAN-Canada Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA).

Mr McGovern also discussed with Dr Surin possible joint activities to commemorate the 35th anniversary of ASEAN-Canada dialogue relations next year.

Mr McGovern was accompanied by the Ambassador of Canada to ASEAN, Mackenzie Clugston. Canada has been an ASEAN Dialogue Partner since 1977.