While at the ASEAN Summit in Singapore, the Prime Minister announced initiatives to increase collaboration between Canada, ASEAN and Singapore, ranging from increased cyber security to mitigating biological threats.
Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) Initiative
Initially a pilot project in the United States and now expanding to four Asian cities, including Singapore, the CTA is an initiative aimed at supporting export diversification for small and medium sized Canadian enterprises working abroad. The initiative will offer intensive 4 to 8 month immersion programming to unlock export growth opportunities for high-growth, high-potential Canadian technology firms. The targeted firms will have access to innovative, coordinated services tailored to their needs. The Asia CTAs are currently in an initial set-up phase and are in the process of hiring staff to deliver the program. Other cities included are Hong Kong, Taipei, and Tokyo.
Canada-ASEAN Cooperation to Mitigate Biological Threats
Outbreaks of deadly infectious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Ebola have highlighted the need for the international community to better prevent, detect, and respond to all manner of biological threats. That is why the Prime Minister announced $7.3 million to support ASEAN member States to mitigate a range of serious biological threats across the region. This funding will further enhance capacities across the region to prevent, detect, and respond to a diverse range of biological challenges that pose serious risks to the security and safety of ASEAN member countries, the broader region, and to Canada and Canadians.
Through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, Canada and Singapore agreed to cooperate on a number of areas related to cyber security, such as sharing information and best practices, and capacity building, particularly in the context of ASEAN.
The two countries will work closely to share best practices and better align their approaches to recruitment, training, professional development, and retention to ensure that their governments, national armed forces, and societies are ready for future demands and have the skills they need.
The two countries also agreed to work closely in the context of the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence to coordinate and deliver projects that strengthen the cyber security capacity of regional countries while promoting their common vision of an open, peaceful, and secure cyber space.
Infrastructure and Smart Cities Collaboration
Through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, Canada and Singapore agreed to enhance their cooperation related to infrastructure and smart cities to help countries from the ASEAN region develop and launch infrastructure and smart cities projects.
Canada and Singapore recognized that international collaboration and the exchange of best practices on different types of financing mechanisms and in particular public-private-partnerships will help improve the capacity of ASEAN-based stakeholders to establish infrastructure and smart cities projects.
The two countries also agreed to organize infrastructure and smart cities discussion forums in ASEAN countries during the 2018-2020 period.