(Ottawa) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday brandished the state of global supply chains in an attempt to persuade a group of Southeast Asian nations to conclude a free trade agreement.
Mr Trudeau has long sought a trade deal with the 10-nation bloc, which includes the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Burma.
He told a virtual business summit hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that a free trade agreement with Canada would be a “win-win,” especially at the end of the pandemic.
Speaking in a pre-recorded message, Trudeau argued that reaching an agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations would help companies and entrepreneurs build relationships and business relationships around the world.
He also said that the deal will give investors more confidence to invest in international markets and protect supply chains from the uncertainties caused by COVID-19.
Trade bottlenecks around the world have been slower to recover from consumer demand for goods, slowed further by the coronavirus outbreak and ongoing public health measures.
All of this affects the inventory of needed consumer goods or the delivery of parts needed to build things like cars, and increases transportation costs passed on to consumers, which is reflected in higher inflation rates.
“As we conclude the fight against COVID-19, deepening our ties with the ASEAN economies and diversifying trade across Asia and the Pacific will play an important role in our recovery,” Mr. Trudeau said in his speech.
“My friends, the strong relationship between Canada and ASEAN is a clear win-win for all of our businesses and all of our people.”
The 10-nation bloc’s economies together are Canada’s sixth largest trading partner, but the country already has access to four ASEAN members – Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam – through a trade deal with the Pacific region known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Transit. – Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP).
The Liberal Elections platform promised to create a new hub to help businesses take advantage of CPTPP opportunities and a new strategy for the Asia Pacific region to deepen ties in the region, including new business deals.
A preliminary analysis by ASEAN and the federal government on the merits of the FTA estimated that Canadian exports of goods and services to the bloc could increase by 13.3%.
In his speech, Trudeau said both sides must also ensure that women, indigenous peoples, LGBT entrepreneurs, visible minorities and other underrepresented business owners participate in and benefit from the trade.
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