Sep 04, 2023

By Angus Gillespie

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Canada’s status within the Indo-Pacific region is set to get a boost as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations prepares to make Ottawa its latest strategic partner when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Indonesia.

The move by the organization is a symbolic gesture that recognizes Canada’s expanded presence in the region and reflects the progress being made on a Canada-ASEAN free-trade agreement.

From Canada’s perspective it’s an opportunity to branch out and create more trading partners beyond the dominance of China. The partnership will be ratified when Trudeau visits Jakarta on Tuesday and Wednesday alongside Trade Minister Mary Ng.

The launch of the ASEAN-Canada strategic partnership will take place on Wednesday, with Trudeau also expected to deliver remarks.

“The ASEAN believes engagement with Canada is much deeper than it perhaps used to be,” Wayne Farmer, president of the Canada-ASEAN Business Council, said.

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