Canada establishes Asean mission
MANILA, Philippines—Canada has moved closer to the Philippines and its neighbor countries as it establishes a diplomatic mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the Canadian Embassy announced Tuesday.
“The Asean region is a key economic, political and security partner for Canada,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement.
“Canada’s mission to Asean will significantly bolster our diplomatic footprint in the region and will build on the momentum of the Canada-Asean relationship,” he said.
A dedicated ambassador to the Asean will soon begin official duties in the Canadian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Canada is among the top countries with the most Filipinos. There are more than 850,000 Filipinos in Canada according to December 2012 records of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.
A large majority of them, almost 760,000, are Filipino migrants.
The Philippines has $991 million worth of exports to Canada while imports were estimated to be worth $527 million, according to 2012 figures published on the website of the Canadian embassy in the Philippines.
“Canada has been one of the longest-serving Dialogue Partners of Asean and has worked hard to enhance and foster this important relationship,” Baird said.
“Our comprehensive engagement with Asean covers issues like supporting human rights, improving regional security, reducing transnational crime, and increasing trade and investment opportunities,” he said.