Canada will establish a diplomatic mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Ottawa has announced.
“The Asean region is a key economic, political and security partner for Canada,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement.
“Canada’s mission to Asean will significantly bolster our diplomatic footprint in the region and will build on the momentum of the Canada-Asean relationship,” he said.
A dedicated ambassador to the Asean will soon begin official duties in the Canadian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Canada has been one of the longest-serving Dialogue Partners of Asean and has worked hard to enhance and foster this important relationship,” Baird said.
“Our comprehensive engagement with Asean covers issues like supporting human rights, improving regional security, reducing transnational crime, and increasing trade and investment opportunities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, has announced funding of seven projects implemented in ASEAN member countries. This funding, totalling $784,000, will support projects that combine scientific/technical, social and business innovation to solve pressing global health challenges.
The funding was announced Baird during a visit to Burma, where he is participating in the ASEAN-Canada Post Ministerial Conference. As one of ASEAN's longest-standing dialogue partners, Canada has enjoyed positive and fruitful relations with the ASEAN region, cooperating on many issues, including regional integration, economic interests and innovation.
A total of seven innovators were awarded seed grants of $112,000 each: two Canadian innovators (Toronto) and five innovators based in ASEAN nations (Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam). All projects will be implemented in four ASEAN member states: Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia.
To date and including this announcement, Canada (through Grand Challenges Canada) has invested $12.8 million in 57 innovations to improve the health of people in the ASEAN region; 28 of those innovative projects (totalling $8.4 million) are being implemented by institutions based in an ASEAN member country, and 29 (totalling $4.4 million) are being implemented by institutions based in Canada or other countries, in partnership with ASEAN institutions.
These new projects are part of Grand Challenges Canada's Stars in Global Health program, which seeks groundbreaking and affordable ideas that can transform the way low-resource nations address disease and health issues -- innovations that can often benefit the developed world as well.
"Canada's support for local health innovators in ASEAN countries has grown substantially over the past years. We are proud to fund many Bold Ideas that help to overcome health challenges in the region, as they can have an important impact on economic growth and the well-being of ASEAN citizens," said Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada.
Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact® in global health.