Press Release : 17th ASEAN-Canada Dialogue  news3

Press Release : 17th ASEAN-Canada Dialogue

Thailand joined the 17th ASEAN-Canada Dialogue emphasising the ensurance of accessibility and affordability of anti-viral medicines and vaccines for COVID-19 as global public goods, sustainable business practices, especially for MSMEs, women’s economic empowerment, digital connectivity, and cyber security. The Meeting also  reaffirmed the ASEAN-Canada Dialogue Relations in addressing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and threats in all forms.
 
On 11 August 2020, Ms. Usana Berananda, Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, attended the 17th ASEAN-Canada Dialogue via videoconference.  The Meeting was co-chaired by SOM Leaders of Myanmar (as Country Coordinator for the ASEAN-Canada Dialogue Relations) and Canada.  SOM Leaders of ASEAN Member States and the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN also attended the Meeting.
 
The Meeting reaffirmed the ASEAN-Canada Dialogue Relations in addressing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and threats in all forms. Both sides emphasised the importance of enhancing political, economic and socio-cultural cooperation, including regional connectivity, people-to-people and youth connectivity through education scholarship program. The Meeting also discussed enhancing trade and investment, maintaining supply chain and reinforcing women’s economic empowerment. The Meeting exchanged views on regional and global issues and stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, combatting terrorism and transnational crime and promoting sustainable development. 
 
Canada also emphasised its support for ASEAN centrality and expressed its desire to deepen the relations with ASEAN, including through the proposed elevation of the relations to a strategic partnership as well as a possible ASEAN-Canada FTA in the future.  
 
Director-General Usana emphasised in her intervention the importance of promoting connectivity and sustainable development, particularly in the post-COVID era.  She proposed possible areas of cooperation, including promoting (1) public health in ensuring the accessibility and affordability of anti-viral medicines and vaccines for COVID-19, once available, as global public goods (2) sustainable business practices, especially for MSMEs,  women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion as well as exchange of best practices on sustainable consumption and production through ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD) and (3) enhanced connectivity through Canada’s support for the Master plan on Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025) as well as ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF) (4) digital connectivity, cyber security and border management in ASEAN.
 
The Meeting was an opportunity for ASEAN and Canada to enhance concrete cooperation, creating an environment conductive to recovery and sustained growth in the region. It was also a platform in preparation for the upcoming Post Ministerial Conference (PMC) with Canada in September this year.