Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast on August 20 underscored the role of the Canada-ASEAN Business Community (CABC) in fostering bilateral trade and investment.

Attending the second ASEAN-Canada Economic Ministers’ Meeting and the 10th ASEAN Business and Investment Summit on the fringe of the 45 th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei between August 20-23, Minister Ed Fast said ASEAN member nations are offering Canadian companies big chances to boost exports.

The CABC is working with the State and private sectors to define opportunties and help Canadian firms do business in the bloc, he added.

The minister also mentioned his Government’s efforts to support domestic businesses’ operations in Southeast Asia, including the opening of a new trade office in Myanmar.

The embassies and consulates of Canada in ASEAN member states are willing to provide new and in-depth specialist reports as well as valuable information about the ASEAN markets in various realms, he said.

ASEAN is now the seventh largest trade partner of Canada, with its exports to the region hitting 5 billion USD last year, up 15 percent from 2010.

Canada mainly exported fertilisers, machinery, cereal, paper pulp and electronic equipment to ASEAN countries.

Meanwhile, ASEAN shipped machinery, rubber and electronic devices worth 10.8 billion USD to the American nation.

More importantly, Canada ’s investment in the region reached 7.7 billion USD in 2011, 2.7 billion USD higher than the figure it poured in both China and India.

Established on August 31, 2012, the CABC works to create a forum for Canadian and ASEAN businesses to discuss challenges and opportunities ahead, thus bringing bilateral relations to a new height.-VNA