Canada and Australia have shared interests in bolstering economic prosperity and security cooperation across East Asia. The focus of the world economy has shifted to Asia; Canada should follow the path Australia has taken for decades and orient itself — in economic and security terms — toward the emerging economies of East Asia.

The risk of regional instability is growing, however, due to China’s re-emergence, continued speculation about US strategic engagement in Asia and increased competition over disputed maritime boundaries. These developments provide opportunities for collaboration between countries like Canada and Australia. Non-traditional security threats, including natural disasters, climate change, food security and cyber security, point to a range of areas where the two countries can work more closely together.

Direct bilateral engagement between Canada and Australia should cover the following four areas: strengthening regional security; bolstering regional governance mechanisms; enhancing bilateral defence and security cooperation; and boosting industrial and economic cooperation. This special report, co-published with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, calls for policy makers and business leaders in Canada and Australia to consider the broader and longer-term benefits of greater bilateral and multilateral cooperation in East Asia.