Canadian Foreign Minister affirms wish to enhance ties with ASEAN hinh anh 1Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland (Source: AFP/VNA)

Ottawa (VNA) – Canada, as a Pacific nation, is proud to stand with Southeast Asian partners to advance peace, security and prosperity for people in the region and globally, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland has said.

Canada will continue to work together to protect and promote the two sides’ shared values and interests, Freeland stated ahead of her visit to Singapore to attend the annual ASEAN-Canada Post-Ministerial Conference and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) from August 3-4.

According to a press release by the Global Affairs Canada, the minister will meet with counterparts from Asia and around the world to advance Canadian priorities and coordinate international efforts on pressing political and security issues, such as the threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar and the defence of human rights.

She is scheduled to deliver the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Fullerton Lecture on August 2 in Singapore. The Institute is a forum for leaders from around the world to discuss security and geopolitical issues. In her remarks, she will address how Canada, together with its partners in Asia and around the world, can step up to support and renew the international rules-based order.

Canada set up its ties with ASEAN in 1977 and is a founding member of the ARF, the premier multilateral security and defence forum in the Asia-Pacific region.

Last year was the 40th anniversary of Canada attaining the status of ASEAN dialogue partner. Events marking this culminated with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s November 2017 participation in the ASEAN Summit as a guest of the chair, as well as his hosting of the first-ever ASEAN-Canada Summit.

ASEAN member-state economies represent Canada’s sixth-largest merchandise trading partner. In 2017, Canada-ASEAN merchandise trade reached a value of 23.3 billion CAD (17.9 billion USD).

Canada partners with ASEAN on a wide range of issues, from respect for justice and the rule of law to regional peace and stability, migrants’ rights and equitable and inclusive trade, while working closely with ASEAN countries on countering terrorism, counter-proliferation and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.-VNA