Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses a press conference at the media center of the 31stASEANsummit and related meetings in Pasay City, thePhilippines, Nov. 14, 2017. Justin Trudeau expressed his country's readiness to enhance cooperation with ASEAN countries in regional security and economy. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
MANILA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that Canada is ready to join the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus).
"Canada is not only willing but ready to be a key partner for the next 50 years," Trudeau said during the ASEAN-Canada 40th anniversary commemorative summit.
"We are ready to contribute to ASEAN's success in an increasingly globalized world by joining the EAS and the ADMM-Plus at the earliest opportunity," he added.
By joining the EAS and the ADMM-Plus, Trudeau said Canada's presence in those two high-level meetings would allow Canada to become "a full and dynamic partner" of ASEAN.
ADMM-Plus includes 10 ASEAN countries and ASEAN's eight plus countries - Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States. Starting next year, the ADMM-Plus will be held annually.
The EAS is an annual meeting by leaders of 18 countries, including ASEAN member states and eight dialogue partners - China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
Trudeau also mentioned Canada's stance that free trade could benefit ASEAN and encourage growth in the region.
"Canada believes that a strengthened partnership will help us chart a path towards an economic future that is more prosperous, more equal and more stable for generations to come," he said.
Trudeau said he welcomes the start of the discussions to forge a Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement.
Trudeau said ASEAN's unprecedented and dynamic growth means new opportunities for Canada to do business with ASEAN nations.
Canada became an ASEAN dialogue partner in 1977. In 2009, Canada appointed its first ambassador to ASEAN and adopted the Joint Declaration on the ASEAN-Canada Enhanced Partnership.
Established in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Philippines is the chair of the ASEAN meetings this year when the grouping celebrates its 50th anniversary.