Vancouver, B.C. - November 2, 2011 - Canada’s engagement with the Asia Pacific region will be in the spotlight in November. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to attend the APEC Leaders’ Summit in Honolulu on November 13 while other senior ministers and representatives visit parts of the region. One of among several premiers who have visited the region this year, B.C. Premier Christy Clark will lead a delegation to China and India from November 4-18. Canada’s place in regional affairs will also be scrutinized as announcements are made on two regional initiatives where Canada is not at the table: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the East Asia Summit, the region’s up-and-coming forum for strategic and economic dialogue. The former takes place amid APEC 2011, and the latter in Indonesia in the context of the ASEAN Summit from November 17-19.
Despite Ottawa’s growing activity and attention to the Asia file, questions remain as to whether and how it can effectively boost Canada’s reputation and ties in Asia. Growing calls are being made by Canadian businesses and policy experts for Canada to develop a focused and comprehensive international strategy towards Asia in order to demonstrate its leadership and commitment to the world’s fastest growing region.
In response, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s latest initiative, the National Conversation on Asia, will bring together its Futures Group on Asia, a panel of prominent Asia-engaged experts, with Deputy Ministers for an Asia Strategy Session on November 15 in Ottawa. Four key topics include Asian regional architecture; trade and investment; capacity building and the rule of law; and energy. Following these discussions, the Foundation will host a reception to mark the launch of the National Conversation on Asia in Ottawa at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier at 6:00pm (EST).
The National Conversation on Asia is a multi-year civil society project aimed to get Canadians thinking and talking about the rise of Asia and responding to its implications for Canada.
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada experts available for comment from Ottawa:
Amitav Acharya, Senior Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and Professor of International Relations at American University
Joseph Caron, Former Ambassador to China, Japan and High Commissioner to India, Special Advisor on Asia Pacific to Heenan Blaikie and Distinguished Fellow with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Kenneth Courtis, Board Member of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Co-Founder of Themes Investment and Former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs
Donald Campbell, Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and Senior Strategy Advisor, Davis LLP
Len Edwards, Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and Strategic Advisor, Gowlings, Lafleur, and Henderson LLP
Douglas Goold, Project Director of the National Conversation on Asia and Senior Editor of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Wenran Jiang, Senior Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and Associate Professor at the University of Alberta
Pitman Potter, Senior Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia
Yuen Pau Woo, President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Trang Nguyen, Communications Manager, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Tel: 604-323-6781.