Canada wants in on East Asia Summit

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 14) — Canada wants to join the East Asia Summit (EAS), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.

"Over the past couple of days I also expressed Canada's desire to join in the East Asia Summit," Trudeau said in a press conference.

He said that working with the EAS would be a "tremendous economic opportunity" for his country.

"Canada is deeply committed to multilateral institutions and fora, and the East Asia Summit is an important one in an extremely compelling and growing region of the world," said Trudeau.

The Prime Minister added they would like to participate in Pacific issues outside of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Canada is a part of APEC.

"But there is more than just economics to discuss. The [EAS] has become the central place for discussing around Pacific issues," said Trudeau.

"Canada is a Pacific country... and being able to engage on broader issues of security, development, human rights, economic opportunity broader than just the APEC, is very much in line with how Canada wants to ensure, engage constructively with the region and indeed, with the world," he added.

The 12th EAS was held at the Philippine International Convention Center on Tuesday.

The EAS gathers leaders from the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam — as well as Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.

According to a 2017 fact sheet by the Australian government, the 18 members of EAS account for 55 percent of the global gross domestic product.