Canada and ASEAN will proceed with free trade agreement negotiations

On November 16, 2021, Canada and ASEAN announced that they agreed to proceed with free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising 10 member states. Established by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand in 1967, it was later joined by Brunei, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Vietnam.

As a group, ASEAN member state economies represent Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner (2020).

In 2020, merchandise trade between Canada and ASEAN reached $26.7 billion, and there is potential remaining to significantly enhance the relationship. According to the 2018 Joint Feasibility Study for a Canada-ASEAN FTA, the economic modelling projects that an FTA could increase Canada’s GDP by $3.41 billion and boost exports to ASEAN countries to $3.58 billion.

Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Mary Ng, will table a Notice of Intent to enter into FTA negotiations with ASEAN as well as Canada’s negotiating objectives, in the House of Commons, consistent with the amended Policy on Tabling of Treaties in Parliament. Both items will be tabled in advance of a first round of negotiations in accordance with the timelines identified in the amended policy.

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