Canada’s trade and investment in Southeast Asia is expanding quickly – not only is trade and investment between Canada and ASEAN member states increasing in volume, but the trading relationship is growing in many sectors, including oil and gas, mining, high tech, telecommunications, agri-food, financial services, aviation and consumer goods.
- As a group of countries, the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) represent Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner (2016).
- If ASEAN were one economy it would be the seventh largest in the world.
- ASEAN is one of the world’s fastest-growing economic regions, with a GDP estimated at over CAD $3.1 trillion in 2015.
- In 2016, Canada-ASEAN merchandise trade reached CAD $21.6 billion.
Canada-ASEAN Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment
Canada and ASEAN are party to the Canada-ASEAN Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment (JDTI), agreed to in 2011, which provides a platform for Canada and ASEAN member states to exchange information on trade and investment opportunities and to strengthen commercial engagement.
In August 2015, Canada and the ASEAN member states adopted a new work plan to guide the implementation of the JDTI from 2016-2020. Efforts focus on a number of areas, including:
- small and medium-sized enterprises,
- corporate social responsibility
At the September 8th 2017 ASEAN Economic Ministers – Canada Consultation, Canada and ASEAN member states endorsed terms of reference for the study and agreed to launch exploratory discussions to examine the potential for a Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement (FTA). They also agreed to complete an in-depth FTA feasibility study.
Canada’s ambitious trade agenda in the region is also supported by Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs) Canada has with the Philippines and Thailand.