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Canada Agrees To Exploratory ASEAN Trade Talks

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, 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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