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Canada Agrees To Exploratory ASEAN Trade Talks

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

11 September 2017

Canada and representatives from the ASEAN member states have agreed to launch exploratory discussions to determine the potential for a free trade agreement.

The decision was made on September 8, at the Sixth ASEAN Economic Ministers-Canada Consultation in Manila.

According to a joint statement issued after the meeting, ministers welcomed the completion of a preliminary joint feasibility study, which evaluates the potential benefits of an ASEAN-Canada FTA. In light of the positive results from this study, ministers asked officials to complete a more in-depth analysis and agreed to the terms of reference for a full joint feasibility study.

Canadian International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, said: "Canada is a Pacific nation and is pursuing a comprehensive, strategic, and progressive trade agenda throughout the region. An enhanced economic partnership with ASEAN will create good middle-class jobs and benefit our small- and medium-sized enterprises by providing clear, stable, and progressive rules of conduct so businesses can grow and expand in one of the world's fastest-growing and most dynamic markets."

Canada is currently a Dialogue Partner of ASEAN. This is a status conferred by ASEAN foreign ministers upon certain external parties. In 2016, merchandise between Canada and the ASEAN bloc was worth CAD21.6bn (USD17.8bn).

ASEAN comprises 10 member states: Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

TAGS: business | free trade agreement (FTA) | Brunei | export duty | tariffs | trade treaty | Laos | Philippines | Singapore | Thailand | agreements | Cambodia | Canada | Indonesia | Malaysia | import duty | trade | Vietnam

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