The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional bloc in Southeast Asia comprised of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. ASEAN is a major economic presence in Asia with a combined GDP of US$2.8 trillion and is projected to rank as the fourth largest economy by 2050 with a population of 643 million.
In 2017, Canada and ASEAN launched exploratory discussions to examine the potential for a Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement (FTA). Of ASEAN members, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam are also signatories of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
An FTA with ASEAN would expand upon the access and gains of the CPTPP to include markets like Indonesia and the Philippines, both major agri-food export markets for Canada. As a group, ASEAN member state economies represent Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner (2020).
On November 16, 2021, Canada and ASEAN agreed to proceed with free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations. The first round of negotiations took place in March of 2022. As of December 2022, negotiations for the Canada-ASEAN FTA continue.
See CAFTA’s latest statements on the Canada-ASEAN FTA
Last updated: December 2022