iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malanie Joly on Sunday announced the country’s new Indo-Pacific Strategy, which presents a comprehensive roadmap to deepen its engagement in the Indo-Pacific over the next 10 years, increasing its contribution to regional peace and security, consolidating economic growth and resilience, strengthening close ties between its people and supporting sustainable development throughout the region.
The Canadian government said that as a Pacific nation, Canada constituted an ambitious plan, which initially provides for an investment of nearly $2.3 billion over the next five years as it recognises that the Indo-Pacific region will play an important and fundamental role in Canada’s future.
To foster greater diversity among those seeking to work and study in Canada, the government will invest in strengthening the visa processing capacity within the centralised Canadian network as well as in New Delhi and Chandigarh.
Each issue of importance to Canadians such as national security, economic prosperity, respect for international law and human rights, democratic values, public health and environmental protection will be defined by the relations that Canada and its partners maintain with the countries of the Indo-Pacific, an official statement said.
Decisions made in the region will affect Canadians for generations, and Canada absolutely must play an active role.
The central principle of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy is that Canada acts for its national interests, while defending its values. The Strategy positions Canada as a reliable partner for the region, now and in the future. It constitutes an ambitious plan, which initially provides for an investment of nearly $2.3 billion over the next five years, said the statement.
This whole-of-society strategy outlines how Canada intends to work actively with its allies and partners to shape the region’s future in the context of global generational change.
To promote Canada’s regional peace and security interests, the government will invest more than $720 million. This investment includes, among other things: $492.9 million to strengthen Canada’s naval presence in the Indo-Pacific and increase Canadian Armed Forces’ participation in regional military exercises; and $47.3 million to launch a new interdepartmental initiative to build the cybersecurity capacities of selected regional partners.
To foster open, rules-based trade and support the country’s economic prosperity, Canada will invest $240.6 million. This investment includes, among other things: $24.1 million to create the Canadian Southeast Asia Trade Gateway to expand Canada’s business and investment networks in the region; $31.8 million to establish Canada’s first agricultural office in the region to increase and diversify agriculture and agri-food exports to the Indo-Pacific; and $13.5 million to expand natural resource linkages with its partners in the Indo-Pacific region in the areas of trade, investment, and science, technology and innovation.
To strengthen the close ties between Canadians and the people of the Indo-Pacific, Canada will contribute $261.7 million.
This investment includes, among other things: $100 million to fund development programmes related to the Feminist International Assistance Policy to support the Indo-Pacific; $74.6 million to strengthen Canada’s visa processing capacity within the centralised Canadian network as well as in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Islamabad and Manila, to strengthen the close ties between its people.
As part of its commitment to building a clean future, Canada has pledged a total of $913.3 million. This investment includes, among other things: $750 million will strengthen FinDev Canada’s ability to expand into the Indo-Pacific and accelerate its work in priority markets to support the development of high-quality and sustainable infrastructure; and $84.3 million to contribute to a healthier marine environment in the Indo-Pacific region, which includes strengthened measures against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
To strengthen its presence, visibility and influence in the region, Canada has pledged a total of $143.3 million. This investment includes, among other things: $92.5 million to significantly increase the capacity of Canada’s missions abroad and within Global Affairs Canada; $24.5 million for the opening of a new Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada office in the region to help build and strengthen relationships with local partners.
“The future of the Indo-Pacific is ours; we have a role to play in shaping it. To this end, we must be a genuine and reliable partner. Today we are presenting a truly Canadian strategy — one that addresses every aspect of our society. This strategy sends a clear message: Canada is present in the region and it is here to stay,” said Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Responding to investment to strengthen visa processing capacity, Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said, “The Indo-Pacific region is critical for immigration to Canada and will continue to be so in the future.”
“Today’s announcement brings significant new funding to strengthen Canada’s visa processing capacity at home and abroad. As we anticipate record growth in admissions in the years to come, this funding will help foster greater diversity among those seeking to work and study in Canada.”
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