Trudeau sings Canada's praises to ASEAN on trade, promises help with Rohingyas

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making an impassioned pitch to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to let Canada into its exclusive and influential circle.

In a speech to members of ASEAN, the first ever from a Canadian prime minister, Trudeau says Canada looks forward to becoming a member of the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN defence ministers panel.

He says Canada's earnest defence of free trade puts it in a unique position to help the association foster growth in southeast Asia, arguing trade deals create jobs and new and lucrative markets for business.

Trudeau is also highlighting Canada's efforts to help the Rohingya Muslims, including the decision to appoint former MP Bob Rae as a special envoy to the region.

He says Canada will support ASEAN's political and humanitarian efforts to find a ``sustainable and just'' solution to the crisis.

Trudeau is also saying Canada stands alongside the Asian continent in demanding that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.