Jakarta. Canada seeks to establish stronger ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with the appointment of a new ambassador to the bloc this week.
Ambassador Diedrah Kelly presented her credentials to Asean Secretary General Dato Lim Jock Hoi at the headquarters of the regional intergovernmental organization in Jakarta on Tuesday.
"It is an important opportunity to discuss how we can use the values that bring us together – equality, free trade, closer economic cooperation and international peace and security," Kelly said, as quoted in a statement issued by the Mission of Canada to Asean.
The country entered a partnership with Asean in 1977 before establishing a dedicated diplomatic mission to the regional bloc in 2014.
Asean is Canada's sixth-largest trading partner, with total trade amounting to more than $23 billion last year.
Canada also provides Asean with security assistance and it is currently amid a second five-year plan with the regional bloc under the 2016-2020 Plan of Action, which includes partnerships in politics, economics and counterterrorism.