Home / News / World /  Canada launches Indo-Pacific strategy to boost military, cyber security

New Delhi: Recognizing that the Indo-Pacific region will play a significant role in the Canada's future, the country has launched an Indo-Pacific strategy with an initial investment of nearly $2.3 billion over the next five years.

The Indo-Pacific strategy presents a comprehensive roadmap to deepen its engagement in the Indo-Pacific over the next 10 years, increasing its contribution to regional peace and security, consolidating economic growth and resilience, strengthening close ties between its people and supporting sustainable development throughout the region, said the High Commission of Canada on Monday.

“Every issue that matters to Canadians—national security, economic prosperity, respect for international law and human rights, democratic values, public health, protecting our environment—will be shaped by the relationships that Canada, along with its partners, have with countries throughout the Indo-Pacific. Decisions made in the region will impact Canadians for generations, and it is critical that Canada be at the table," it said.

The strategy was launched by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly on Sunday.

“The central tenet of the Indo-Pacific Strategy is acting in Canada’s national interests, while defending our values. It positions Canada as a reliable partner to the region, now and into the future. It is an ambitious plan, beginning with an investment of almost $2.3 billion over the next five years," it said.

This whole-of-society strategy puts forward how Canada intends to actively work with allies and partners to shape the future of the region, in the midst of a generational global shift.

To promote Canada’s regional peace and security interests, the government will invest more than $720 million. This investment includes, among other things: $492.9 million to strengthen Canada’s naval presence in the Indo-Pacific and increase Canadian Armed Forces‘ participation in regional military exercises; and $47.3 million to launch a new interdepartmental initiative to build the cybersecurity capacities of selected regional partners.

To foster open, rules-based trade and support the country’s economic prosperity, Canada will invest $240.6 million. This investment includes, among other things: $24.1 million to create the Canadian Southeast Asia Trade Gateway to expand Canada’s business and investment networks in the region; $31.8 million to establish Canada’s first agricultural office in the region to increase and diversify agriculture and agri-food exports to the Indo-Pacific; and $13.5 million to expand natural resource linkages with its partners in the Indo-Pacific region in the areas of trade, investment, and science, technology and innovation.

To strengthen the close ties between Canadians and the people of the Indo-Pacific, Canada will contribute $261.7 million.

This investment includes, among other things: $100 million to fund development programmes related to the Feminist International Assistance Policy to support the Indo-Pacific; $74.6 million to strengthen Canada’s visa processing capacity within the centralised Canadian network as well as in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Islamabad and Manila, to strengthen the close ties between its people.

As part of its commitment to building a clean future, Canada has pledged a total of $913.3 million. This investment includes, among other things, i.e, $750 million will strengthen FinDev Canada’s ability to expand into the Indo-Pacific and accelerate its work in priority markets to support the development of high-quality and sustainable infrastructure; and $84.3 million to contribute to a healthier marine environment in the Indo-Pacific region, which includes strengthened measures against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

To strengthen its presence, visibility and influence in the region, Canada has pledged a total of $143.3 million. This investment includes, among other things, i.e, $92.5 million to significantly increase the capacity of Canada’s missions abroad and within Global Affairs Canada; $24.5 million for the opening of a new Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada office in the region to help build and strengthen relationships with local partners.

“The future of the Indo-Pacific is ours; we have a role to play in shaping it. To this end, we must be a genuine and reliable partner. Today we are presenting a truly Canadian strategy -- one that addresses every aspect of our society. This strategy sends a clear message: Canada is present in the region and it is here to stay," said Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Responding to investment to strengthen visa processing capacity, Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said, “The Indo-Pacific region is critical for immigration to Canada and will continue to be so in the future. Today’s announcement brings significant new funding to help boost Canada’s visa application processing capacity at home and abroad. As we look to record growth in admissions in the years ahead, this funding will help promote greater diversity among those looking to work and study in Canada."

The Indo-Pacific is the world’s fastest-growing economic region and accounts for 65% of the global population. By 2030, it will be home to two thirds of the global middle class. The Indo-Pacific is Canada’s second-largest regional export market, after the United States, with annual 2-way trade valued at $226 billion.

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