Canada, Asean to talk FTA

The Phnom Penh Post - - BUSINESS - Kali Ko­to­ski

CANADA has agreed to com­mence ex­ploratory dis­cus­sions on a Free Trade Agree­ment (FTA) with the 10 mem­ber na­tions that make up Asean, ac­cord­ing to an an­nounce­ment by the Canada-Asean Busi­ness Coun­cil (CABC).

The an­nounce­ment comes af­ter Cana­dian of­fi­cials held con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings with del­e­gates of Asean mem­ber states dur­ing the ninth meet­ing of the Asean Eco­nomic Min­is­ters in Manila last week­end, with the two sides agree­ing to launch for­mal fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies for a Canada-Asean FTA. Canada first be­gan dis­cus­sions on a FTA with Asean in 2016.

“This move is an in­di­ca­tion that Canada and Asean firmly recog­nise the im­mense po­ten­tial that awaits deeper eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion be­tween our re­gions, and that the po­lit­i­cal will ex­ists to move an agree­ment across the line quickly,” CABC said in a state­ment.

“Asean now joins China as one of Canada’s ma­jor po­ten­tial FTA part­ners in the ex­ploratory dis­cus­sion phase,” it added.

A CABC re­port pub­lished in May, a bi­lat­eral trade agree­ment with Asean could gen­er­ate be­tween $3.9 bil­lion to $8.9 bil­lion in ad­di­tional trade in the first 10 years.

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