6 August 2017 | Manila, Philippines

Canadian Foreign Minister Christina Alexandra Freeland announced a $10-million scholarship for the 10 Member States of ASEAN.

“I’m very delighted to announce here today a five-year 10-million dollar Canada-ASEAN scholarship in educational exchanges for development program called SEED (Student Employment Experience Development),” Freeland said during the ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

The ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting was co-chaired by the Philippines led by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Enrique Manalo.

Freeland mentioned that the scholarship grant aims to equip ASEAN students and mid-career professionals, particularly women, with critical knowledge and skills to contribute in fighting against poverty.

She added that this also targets to strengthen people-to-people relations between ASEAN and Canada.

“We’re keen to make the ties between ASEAN and Canada stronger,” the Canadian foreign minister stressed.

“Our core goals internationally: supporting the international rules based order, fighting climate change, fighting terrorism, empowering girls and women. These are goals which are important in our partnership with ASEAN. We believe that working together we can advance these goals in a meaningful way,” Freeland said.

Meanwhile, Manalo noted that this year is a “special circumstance” for ASEAN and Canada as ASEAN celebrates its 50th anniversary; Canada, its 150th year of confederation; and 40th year of ASEAN-Canada dialogue partnership.

“For Canada in 1867 and for ASEAN in 1967, the consolidation of shared interest made perfect sense. In 1977, the coming together of ASEAN and Canada as new partners built a bridge of trans-pacific friendship that has grown stronger on the back of shared values and mutual benefit,” Manalo said in his opening statement.

“Even today, the anniversary themes of ASEAN 50 and Canada 150 converged in the ideal that our peoples must be the center of all our endeavors,” he added noting that the ASEAN-Canada relations must continue to serve their peoples.

The Philippines, in its current capacity as country coordinator for ASEAN-Canada relations, co-chaired the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with Canada.

//KMC

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