Canada: Justin Trudeau government outlines Indo-Pacific strategy

ElephantNewsNetwork5个月前Internationality232
Canada: Justin Trudeau government outlines Indo-Pacific strategy

In assigning responsibilities to his new Cabinet, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked ministers to focus on the Indo-Pacific and develop a comprehensive strategy for the region.

While the 38-member Cabinet was sworn in October, the mandate letters were issued by Trudeau on Thursday and underscored the significance the region now holds in future Canadian policy-making.

In his mandate letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly, Trudeau said she “will lead Canada’s contribution to addressing global challenges, including by deepening our partnerships in regions of strategic importance, such as the Indo-Pacific and Arctic regions, and strengthening Canada’s diplomatic capacity”.

He also added that her remit will include the responsibility to “develop and launch a comprehensive Indo-Pacific strategy to deepen diplomatic, economic and defence partnerships and international assistance in the region”.

Global Affairs Canada, her department, will be supported in this objective by at least three other departments - defence, international trade and international development.

Defence minister Anita Anand was asked to “support the minister of foreign affairs in developing and launching a comprehensive Indo-Pacific strategy to deepen diplomatic and defence partnerships in the region”.

Meanwhile, directions for Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, included “negotiating, as part of a new Indo-Pacific strategy, new bilateral and regional trade agreements, expanding foreign investment promotion and protection agreements and building stronger economic linkages”.

Discussions between India and Canada over a streamlined free trade agreement have resumed this year.

Finally, Minister of International Development and Minister Responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada Harjit Sajjan was told to “support the Minister of Foreign Affairs in developing and launching a comprehensive Indo-Pacific strategy to deepen diplomatic partnerships and international assistance in the region”.

The Indo-Pacific has not figured so prominently in prior mandate letters during Justin Trudeau’s tenure at PM, which began in 2015, or even earlier.

As the House of Commons met for the first time in November after the September elections, Canada’s governor-general (GG) Mary Simon outlined the policy priorities of the government and among those was “making deliberate efforts to deepen partnerships in the Indo-Pacific”.

That was its maiden appearance in what is described as the Throne Speech, since the GG represents Canada’s head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.

“Mandate letters outline the commitments that each minister will work to accomplish, as well as the pressing challenges they will address in their role. Mandate letters are not an exhaustive list of all files a minister will work on,” a release issued by the prime minister’s office noted.

标签: MelanieJoly

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