Canada’s interactions with Asia have increased over the past few years. The Government of Canada has described the Asian Pacific as being full of new opportunities for the country’s prosperity and as having immediate and profound implications for Canada.
The Government has made Asia one of its top foreign policy priorities and an integral part of its trade agenda. Canada’s engagement in the region focuses on:
- Deepening relations with Asian partners
- Regional security
- Promoting Canadian values
Canada has been increasing its trade relationships with Asian markets. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement became the country’s first FTA with an Asian country as of January 1, 2015. In early 2016, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In March 2018, Canada and ten other Asia-Pacific countries signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Canada also has Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs) with China, Thailand and the Philippines.
Canada holds diplomatic and consular offices in 24 economies throughout Asia. In total, it has 18 High Commissions and Embassies, 23 Consulates and Consulate-Generals, 1 Trade Office located in Taiwan, and 2 Office of the Embassies in Cambodia and Laos. As well, Canada relies on 50 Trade Commissioner Service offices in 22 economies throughout Asia.
While Canada is not yet present in every country in the region, Canada and Australia share a consular services agreement. Australian diplomatic offices in countries without a Canadian office may supply citizen services to Canadians abroad, and vice-versa.
In 2016, the federal government appointed its first Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), highlighting the importance of Southeast Asia to Canadian foreign policy.
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In total, Canada has established close to 150 sister city agreements with counterparts in the Asia Pacific. Among Asian countries, Japan has the highest number of sister city relationships (78) followed by China (42) and South Korea (11).
Sister province agreements also exist between Canadian provinces/territories and Asian counterparts. Alberta leads the way with four agreements and it also has the oldest provincial twinning agreement in Asia. Also noteworthy is the Port of Halifax’s 2013 sister port agreement with the Port of Shenzen in China.
Canada Export Trade Statistics 2000-2016
Canada Import Trade Statistics 2000-2016
Canada Immigration Statistics 2000-2014
Did You Know...
Since 2008, agri-food products have dominated Canadian exports to Asia.