Prime Minister Justin Trudeau strongly wants his country to become a member of the East Asia Summit to expand Canada’s trade in the region and improve global security.
Trudeau, in a news conference, noted that the 640 million strong, 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) cannot be set aside in seeking progress.
“Taken together, Asean would easily be our sixth largest trading partner. Asean’s 640 million people is twice as much as the United States. This is a tremendous opportunity for Canadians to engage in a fast-growing region where we already have very good and positive ties,” he pointed out.
“As a full member [of the East Asia Summit], we will be able to promote and discuss security, economy, people to people ties which are topics that really matter,” Trudeau added. Canada is a Pacific country, and we want to be able to engage in broader issues of policy such development and human rights.”
The East Asia Summit members include the Philippines, Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.
Canada was invited to attend the East Asia Summit in Manila and was granted observer status.