Export, Innovate, Invest - The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

A Joint Declaration Between ASEAN and Canada on Trade and Investment

Adopted on October 2, 2011
Jakarta, Indonesia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (hereinafter referred to as ASEAN) and Canada (hereinafter referred to collectively as “the Participants”);

Inspired by more than three decades of dialogue relations and friendship between the Participants;

Desiring to deepen and broaden dialogue relations not only to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the Participants’ economies but also to respond to internal and external challenges and global developments;

Determined to explore opportunities to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest to promote greater flow of trade and investment;

Recognizing the important role and contribution of the business sector in intra-regional trade and investment and the need to ensure that greater business opportunities are made available through mutually beneficial economic cooperation initiatives;

Considering the respective rights and obligations of ASEAN Member States and Canada under the Marrakesh Agreement, which establishes the World Trade Organization (hereinafter referred to as the “WTO”) done on 15 April 1994, and other multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements and arrangements to which ASEAN Member States and Canada are parties;

Desiring to contribute to the attainment of the objectives of the Joint Declaration on the ASEAN-Canada Enhanced Partnership adopted in Phuket, Thailand on 22 July 2009;

Recalling the observance of the declarations of the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conferences on internationally recognized core labour standards, referred to in these declarations and recognizing the importance of providing adequate and effective protection and enforcement of worker rights in accordance with each Participant’s labour laws;

Acknowledging the objectives of ASEAN to realize the ASEAN Community as embodied in the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II), signed in October 2003 in Bali, Indonesia; as well as the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), launched in November 2000 in Singapore; the Vientiane Action Program (VAP) signed in November 2004 in Vientiane; the Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on the Roadmap for the ASEAN Community 2009‑15; and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity done in 28 October 2010 in Ha Noi, Vietnam, all of which are aimed at further integrating ASEAN Member States and narrowing the development gaps among them;

Desiring to promote transparency and good governance, including by combating and preventing unlawful activities in international trade and investment;

Reaffirming the importance of the promotion of intellectual property rights, and recognizing that effective protection of such rights encourages technological innovation and investment;

Stressing the need to cooperate in regional and multilateral fora on trade and investment-related issues of mutual interest;

Desiring to ensure that trade and environmental policies are mutually supportive in the furtherance of sustainable development;

Hereby Declare the Following:

1. Objectives

The Participants seek to:

  1. enhance economic relations between ASEAN and Canada, particularly in the areas of trade in goods and services, industrial cooperation and investment;
  2. promote and facilitate increased involvement of the business sector, in particular small- and medium-scale enterprises, in economic activities between ASEAN and Canada;
  3. promote greater coordination in the WTO and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum ( “APEC”); and
  4. develop a mechanism for regular exchanges of information on trade and investment opportunities and other promotional activities related to trade and investment.

2. Principles

The Participants will:

  1. support ASEAN economic integration objectives, in particular the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015;
  2. contribute to the enhanced economic relationship between ASEAN and Canada;
  3. facilitate and promote trade and investment;
  4. conform with theprinciples of the WTO;[1]
  5. comply with the domestic laws, regulations and national policies of Canada and ASEAN Member States;
  6. recognize the differences in the level of development and the size of the economies of Canada and ASEAN Member States, the importance of narrowing the development gaps among ASEAN Member States and creating opportunities for economic development, particularly of the least developed ASEAN Member States; and
  7. encourage their respective private sectors to pursue best practices in corporate social responsibility.

3. Expansion of Trade and Investment

  1. The Participants will explore ways to create favorable conditions for expanding and promoting trade in goods and services, and investment between them;
  2. The Participants will endeavor to foster regular exchanges of information on opportunities for trade and investment and for other promotional initiatives, including, where possible, exchange of business contacts.

4. Senior Economic Officials' Meeting

  1. The Participants will hold periodic Senior Economic Officials’ Meetings (SEOM) to deal with issues related to trade and investment.
  2. The Participants will hold the ASEAN–Canada SEOM on mutually agreed-upon dates. The venue of the SEOM will alternate between ASEAN and Canada, or may be held in any other mutually determined location.
  3. The Participants may, in accordance with their internal mechanisms, consult their respective private sectors on matters related to the work of the ASEAN–Canada SEOM. The Participants may invite representatives from the private sector to the ASEAN–Canada SEOM for consultations on areas of interest to ASEAN and Canada. The Participants will, however, notify each other of the participation of private sector representatives prior to the ASEAN–Canada SEOM.
  4. The Participants may establish ad hoc working groups or task forces that may meet concurrently with, or separately from, the ASEAN–Canada SEOM to facilitate its work.

Done in Jakarta on this 2nd day of October in 2011.

[1] Subject to the accession of Lao PDR to the WTO.