Trudeau takes off for international meetings, starting with Cambodia ASEAN summit

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way overseas for a flurry of international meetings across four countries, starting in Cambodia.

Trudeau is due in Phnom Penh for a leaders' meeting at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.

Canada is in trade negotiations with the economically booming bloc of 10 countries in the region.

But experts have warned that Canadian engagement with ASEAN has been sporadic, leading to skepticism from the organization about the prospects for a deal.

Trudeau is also set to attend the G20 in Indonesia, an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' forum in Thailand and a Francophonie summit in Tunisia.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, who is expected to reveal the long-awaited Indo-Pacific strategy within the month, will also be on the trip.

Joly, speaking at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto on Wednesday, said the "tectonic plates of the world's power structures" are shifting.

"The decisions made in the region will impact Canadian lives for generations. We must be at the table, step up our game and increase our influence," she said.

The strategy will include warnings to businesses about deepening ties with global giant China, Joly revealed, and embedding China experts in key embassies worldwide.

There will also be a focus on hedging against an invasion of Taiwan and deepening ties with other major powers, such as India, Japan and South Korea.

Trudeau's journey to the region is expected to lay groundwork toward greater co-operation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press