ASEAN, Canada agree to soon lift ties to Strategic Partnership
ASEAN and Canada agreed to soon elevate their dialogue relationship to a Strategic Partnership during the ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting held online on September 10 as part of the 53rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM-53).
The foreign ministers highly valued Canada's active participation in ASEAN-established and -led mechanisms, especially the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Countries acknowledged Canada's wish to participate more deeply in other ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+).
ASEAN also appreciated Canada's timely support for the region’s fight against COVID-19, with the provision of medical protective equipment worth 4.5 million CAD.
Both sides noted the positive progress in the ASEAN-Canada dialogue relationship in all fields, especially the effective implementation of the ASEAN-Canada Action Plan 2016-2020.
Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne expressed his support for ASEAN's central role in the dynamically developing regional architecture. He announced a grant of approximately 10 million CAD for the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) programme.
Speaking at the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh spoke highly of Canada’s active and constructive participation in ASEAN's efforts for a region of peace, stability and development.
Viet Nam welcomes Canada for supporting ASEAN initiatives to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund and the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, Minh said, expressed his wish that Canada will cooperate with and support ASEAN in minimising the COVID-19 impacts in all aspects and in post-pandemic recovery.
Canada is ASEAN's third largest trade partner and one of the major economies of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), he said, adding that Viet Nam wants countries to together optimise the potential of the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement in the future.
The Vietnamese representative also appreciated Canada's support for ASEAN’s central role in maintaining and promoting peace, stability, security and safety of navigation, freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.
At the end of the meeting, the ministers agreed to approve the ASEAN-Canada Action Plan 2021-2025./.