FAAE Committee News Release
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Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
Comité permanent des affaires étrangères et du développement international
For immediate release
CANADA’S FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CONCLUDES SUCCESSFUL FACT-FINDING MISSION TO ASIA
Committee focuses on foreign policy, trade, development, human rights, and regional security during visit to China, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Ottawa, December 06, 2017 -
Today, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development concluded a productive and informative 10-day mission to Asia as part of a study on Canada’s engagement in the region.
In Beijing, China, the Committee met with senior members of the National People’s Congress (NPC), including the Hon. Ji Bingxuan, Vice Chair of the NPC Standing Committee, and the Hon. Chi Wanchun, Vice Chair of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, for discussions about trade and investment, human rights, and regional security. The Committee also met with officials from the Department of Aid in the Ministry of Commerce, representatives of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and members of several civil society organizations.
While in Hong Kong, the Committee engaged with a broad cross section of stakeholders, including members of the Legislative Council for discussions about the one country, two systems structure and the relationship between mainland China and Hong Kong. Members also met with officials from the business and legal communities, as well as with individuals focused on promoting diversity and inclusion. In addition, the Committee visited and laid a wreath at the Sai Wan war cemetery to honour the 1,975 Canadian soldiers who fought bravely to defend Hong Kong during the Second World War, including the 550 who died there in battle or captivity.
In Hanoi, Vietnam, the Committee exchanged views about Canada-Vietnam political, trade and people-to-people relations with members of the National Assembly, including the Hon. Phùng Quốc Hiển, Vice Chair of the Standing Committee, and the Hon. Nguyễn Văn Giàu, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Members also met with the Hon. Vũ Tiến Lộc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss initiatives such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, of which both Canada and Vietnam are negotiating partners.
The Committee’s mission concluded with meetings in Jakarta, Indonesia where it engaged with senior government ministers, including H.E. Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister of National Development Planning. It also met H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), along with members of the Indonesian House of Representatives, for discussions about regional security and economic development.
This ongoing study on Canada’s engagement in Asia will result in a report to Parliament that will detail the Committee’s findings and make recommendations to the Government of Canada.
Further information on the Committee’s current work is available on its website.
“The Committee’s mission to China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Indonesia gave us extremely valuable insight on how important it is to continue building strong relationships with each of these countries. During our meetings with officials, legislators, and stakeholders, we gained a better understanding as to how much we have in common as well as what challenges and opportunities lie ahead with respect to trade, development, human rights, and security. I have always believed that strengthening our relationships in the region will take time and we must exercise patience. Our engagement with officials and stakeholders was a positive step towards gaining a better understanding of the issues”
-Hon. Bob Nault, PC, MP, Chair
“Our Committee concluded an informative series of meetings and briefings in Asia to promote trade, security, and human rights, while also establishing person to person connections with other legislators in all countries. Canadian engagement in Asia will remain an important element of our foreign policy in the coming years and our Committee will try to engage more Canadians in the dialogue surrounding the opportunities and challenges in Asia.”
- Hon. Erin O’Toole, Vice-Chair
“Our visit allowed us to exchange with parliamentarians and government officials about the extraordinary economic growth of the region. We also raised important questions about human rights, social inequality, and institutional stability. The environment and, in particular, the urgent necessity to reduce GHG emissions and to combat climate change was also a key focus of our discussions in countries that are already feeling its effects. Overall, one clear impression emerged: economic growth cannot be sustainable unless accompanied by a move toward stable democratic institutions and the rule of law.”
- Hon. Thomas Mulcair
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