The Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Charting a Common Approach
January 22-23, 2020 | Vancouver, Canada
January 28, 2020 – The Summary Statement reflects the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s assessment of the prevailing views of panellists and speakers as expressed during discussions at The Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Charting a Common Approach (FOIP 2020) conference in Vancouver, Canada.
The first-ever international conference in Canada on the Indo-Pacific, the two-day event convened to explore different countries’ and organizations’ understanding of the Indo-Pacific concept as it applies to their domestic, economic, and security policy-making processes. With participants representing academia, industry, and government from Canada, Japan, ASEAN, Australia, India, and the United States, the conference explored the three broad and interconnected themes of governance, economic interconnectivity, and security challenges, all with an eye on facilitating collaborative action.
FOIP 2020 was made possible with the support of the Embassy of Japan in Canada, Global Affairs Canada, and the Department of National Defence, along with corporate sponsors Toyota, Hitachi, CAE, and Fujitsu, as well as Mitsui & Co. Canada.
During our meeting, we discussed the following priorities for Canada in the context of a free and open Indo-Pacific, an emerging geopolitical construct that unites the Indian and Pacific Oceans:
1. There are clear signals from the region for greater Canadian involvement within an Indo-Pacific architecture.
2. There is inherent value for Canada’s adoption of the Indo-Pacific concept as doing so can further enhance Canadian engagement with Asian and Indo-Asian partners.
3. Canadian involvement in the Indo-Pacific geostrategic space would go a long way toward demonstrating to the region that Canada recognizes regional economic, political, and security priorities, and that it has strategic resolve to engage in the region through bilateral and multilateral channels.
4. In adopting the Indo-Pacific geopolitical construct, Canada can work with its regional partners to help shape the concept’s norms and values going forward.
5. Canada should consider an Indo-Pacific construct that stresses inclusivity over exclusivity and leaves the door open to all interested participants.
The Asia Pacific Foundation intends to build on the success of this conference to establish an annual Vancouver Asia Dialogue series that addresses key strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific. Vancouver’s location and its connectivity to North America and Asia make the city the ideal place for strategic dialogue.
FOIP 2020 Conference Photos: Day One
FOIP 2020 Conference Photos: Day Two
Michael Roberts, Communications ManagerAsia Pacific Foundation of Canada
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