The Canadian Government has affirmed to continue deepening ties with fast growing Asian markets, according to its recent press release.

The release said that Minister of International Trade Ed Fast will travel to Singapore to attend the first Canada-ASEAN Business Council Forum on October 9 after attending the APEC Ministerial, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and CEO summit meetings in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia from October 3-6.

He said the Canadian government focuses on creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity in order to preserve and strengthen the financial security of Canadians.

“Opening new markets for exporters is key to these efforts and that’s why I continue to advance Canada’s interests throughout this dynamic and fast-growing region,” he said.

The minister said that he advanced Canada’s interests in meetings with his TPP and WTO counterparts.

APEC’s 21 member economies are home to almost 2.8 billion people and account for over half of the world’s GDP and more than 80 percent of Canada’s total merchandise trade.

Twelve countries are currently participating in the TPP negotiations, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. The TPP countries represent a market of more than 792 million people and a combined GDP of 27.5 trillion USD, more than 38 percent of the world’s economy.

ASEAN comprises 10 countries in Southeast Asia, including major regional economies such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. In 2012, Canadian exports to the region totalled over 5 billion USD, which would have made the ASEAN countries, collectively, Canada’s seventh-largest export destination.

Earlier, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said during the APEC ministerial meeting on October 5 that the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting offered Canada a chance to join other APEC members to create an open and transparent market.

Between October 4-6, Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Malaysia, Canada’s second largest trade partner in ASEAN, to strengthen economic and security cooperation between the two countries.-VNA