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Trade agreement with ASEAN would boost Canadian economy, study finds

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Date: May 15, 2017

Related Issues Trade and Investment

Related Initiatives Canada in the Pacific Century

VANCOUVER, B.C. – May 15, 2017 – The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Business Council of Canada, and the Canada-ASEAN Business Council, in partnership with the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia, today unveiled, The ASEAN Advantage: Exploring Canada’s Trade Potential, a report on the feasibility of a Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the first formal meeting between Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), this comprehensive study provides detailed snapshots of the 10 member economies of ASEAN as well as an assessment of the opportunities they represent for Canada.

Additionally, The ASEAN Advantage summarizes the current business climate for Canadian and ASEAN companies, explores five broad sectors that offer significant opportunities for Canadian exporters, outlines the results of an economic modeling exercise that shows potential benefits for Canada over a 10-year period following the implementation of a trade agreement, and outlines a number of key policy recommendations. The study recommends that Canada seek a trade agreement with ASEAN that exceeds the level of market access obtained by Australia and New Zealand in their agreements.

The collective research in this new study suggests that a Canada-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) could potentially generate between C$4.8-billion and C$10.9-billion in additional bilateral trade, benefiting a wide range of companies and many millions of workers on both sides of a Canada-ASEAN trade deal.

To read The ASEAN Advantage, click here.



“The 10 ASEAN economies have evolved dramatically in recent years and today rank among some of the most promising markets in the world. A successful Canada-Asia engagement strategy must include a deeper partnership with ASEAN, a trade-friendly region with some 600 million consumers, and enable our goods and services exporters to capture a greater market share in the region. A Canada-ASEAN trade agreement is a vital and necessary mechanism, and will help us catch up where our international competitors are currently eating our lunch in Southeast Asia.”Stewart Beck, President and CEO, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

“The Asia Pacific region is critical to Canada’s economic future. As this report demonstrates, an ambitious trade agreement between Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations would boost trade and create thousands of high-value jobs for Canadian workers. With a population of more than 600 million and annual growth rates near five per cent, ASEAN is a market rich in opportunities for Canadian exporters.”John Manley, President and CEO, Business Council of Canada.

“The study results confirm that a Canada-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement will provide Canadians trading with ASEAN improved access to 8.8 per cent of the world’s population.  ASEAN represents a substantial, growing market with strong ties to Canada and a window to the rest of Asia. The government should move quickly to secure a deal and increase Canada’s presence in this thriving region.”Wayne Farmer, Canada-ASEAN Business Council President


About the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada:

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is dedicated to strengthening ties between Canada and Asia with a focus on expanding economic relations through trade, investment and innovation; promoting Canada’s expertise in offering solutions to Asia’s climate change, energy, food security and natural resource management challenges; building Asia skills and competencies among Canadians, including young Canadians; and, improving Canadians’ general understanding of Asia and its growing global influence.

The Foundation is well known for its annual national opinion polls of Canadian attitudes regarding relations with Asia, including Asian foreign investment in Canada and Canada’s trade with Asia. The Foundation places an emphasis on China, India, Japan and South Korea while also developing expertise in emerging markets in the region, particularly economies within ASEAN.

Visit APF Canada at

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Michael Roberts
Communications Manager
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Office: 604-630-1527


McKensi Patterson
Communications Officer
Business Council of Canada
Office: 613-288-3871

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