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Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy
News: Recently, India welcomed the announcement of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy during India-Canada Strategic Dialogue.
The Ministers discussed strengthening the economic partnership, advancing security cooperation, facilitating migration and mobility, and growing our strong people-to-people ties.
Canadian FM termed India as a critical partner for Canada in the Indo- Pacific. In return, Canada can be a reliable supplier of critical minerals, a strong partner in the green transition and a major investor.
Importance of the meeting:
Candian FM’s visit is expected to pave the way for a continued reset in India-Canada ties after a freeze between 2020-2022.
Freeze was over a number of issues including attacks on Indian-origin people and establishments by Khalistani groups in Canada, Canadian comments over India’s farmer protests and India’s cancellation of diplomatic talks in response.
Apart from encouraging investment from Canadian funds, both the countries look forward to the ‘Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA)’ as a first step towards ‘Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)’.
Both countries share a suspicion of China and are seeking to expand trade ties, improve supply chain resilience, and encourage greater exchange of people between their countries.
What is Canada’s Indo-Pacific Policy?
Canada released a new Indo-Pacific strategy, focusing on four regions - China, India, the North Pacific (Japan and Koreas), and ASEAN.The Indo-Pacific region is home to the largest diaspora in Canada, with 1 in 5 Canadians having family ties to the region and 60% of Canada's international students.
The strategy contains strong words on China's challenge to the international rules-based order and human rights, while expressing a positive view of India's shared tradition of democracy and pluralism. However, Canada also acknowledges its dependence on China as its main export destination and recognizes the need for cooperation with China on issues such as climate change and health.
Canada's strategy includes a funding commitment of $1.7 billion over five years, including infrastructure projects, enhanced military presence, and expanded participation in regional military exercises.
Key Objectives - Promote peace, resilience and security, expand trade, investment and supply chain resilience, invest in and connect people, build a sustainable and green future and be an active and engaged partner to the Indo-Pacific.