Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will travel to Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, from October 7-8, 2013, where he will participate in the 21st annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting. He will be accompanied by John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade. Prior to this visit, the Prime Minister will participate in a bilateral visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from October 4-6. This visit marks the first bilateral visit by a Canadian Prime Minister since 1996.
“Commercial flows between Canada and its Asia-Pacific partners are essential to promoting jobs and economic growth here at home,” said Prime Minister Harper. “I look forward to attending these meetings in Southeast Asia to further Canada’s interests, advance regional trade liberalization and promote Canada as a business partner of choice.
Under the theme “Resilient Asia-Pacific – Engine of Global Growth,” Indonesia, as the Chair of APEC for 2013, is seeking to make progress in three priority areas: attaining the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment in the region, achieving sustainable growth with equity, and promoting connectivity.
APEC’s primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity among economies in the region. It is a valuable forum for leaders to share perspectives and exchange ideas on a wide range of issues, including trade, investment facilitation and economic cooperation. APEC’s 21 member economies account for almost 2.8 billion people, over half of the world’s GDP and more than 80 per cent of Canada’s total merchandise trade.
As part of his bilateral visit to Malaysia, Prime Minister Harper will meet with Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, to discuss ways of further promoting trade and security cooperation. Canada and Malaysia have a long history of close and friendly bilateral relations that encompass a full range of political, economic, trade, social, and cultural ties.