The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has conveyed its warmest greetings to the government and the people of Canada on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Asean-Canada Dialogue.
Since the first formal meeting of Asean directors-general and Canadian senior officials on economic cooperation held in Manila on February 03 to 04, 1977, Asean-Canada relations have developed in all three Asean community pillars.
Canada has demonstrated active engagement in the Southeast Asian region, including through Asean’s mechanisms such as the Asean Regional Forum (ARF).
The Joint Declaration on the Asean-Canada Enhanced Partnership adopted in 2009 frames current engagement in a comprehensive, action-oriented and forward-looking manner alongside a Plan of Action for 2016-2020 that guides concrete cooperation between both sides.
Both Asean and Canada have been committed to addressing common traditional and non-traditional challenges, upholding international law and maintaining peace and security in the region.
Asean values Canada’s commitments and interests in further strengthening relations with Asean as well as its continued support for Asean centrality and community-building efforts.
Economic links between Asean and Canada exhibit a steady, positive trajectory.
Two-way trade continues to expand, while Canadian direct investment in Asean exceeds that in some neighboring economies.
Asean lauds the Canada-Asean Business Council (CABC) for channeling private sector attention to business and investment opportunities in Asean’s ten member-states.
While fostering economic integration for mutual benefit and prosperity, Asean-Canada socio-cultural engagement continues to grow.
Canadian funds support implementation of various initiatives on disaster management, climate change, health and pandemics, education, youth, culture and people-to-people exchange as well as human rights of migrant workers, women and children.
This 40th anniversary coincides with the 50th anniversary of Asean’s establishment, which is a testament to the long-standing relations between Asean and Canada.
In the course of 2017, Asean welcomes commemorative activities to celebrate 40 years of flourishing relations with Canada and the successful convening of the 14th Asean-Canada Dialogue to be held in Ottawa in May 2017. JAIME R. PILAPIL