Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade concludes successful trip to ASEAN region to promote Canadian wood exports

News Release

April 28, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Southeast Asia’s growing middle class represents a promising new source of demand for Canada’s high-quality goods and services, including wood products. We know that when we expand and diversify our export markets, it creates good, well-paying jobs and opportunities for middle-class Canadians.

Canada recognizes the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as an economic bloc, and continues to work to expand and diversify Canadian exports to the region to create new opportunities for Canadian businesses and good-paying jobs here at home.

Today, Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, concluded a successful visit to Southeast Asia. The Parliamentary Secretary’s visit included stops in Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam and complemented a recent trade mission to China, led by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, as part of a concerted effort by the Government of Canada to expand trade links to Asia and further develop markets for Canadian wood and wood products.

The Parliamentary Secretary’s tour of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and surrounding areas included visits and meetings with importers and traders of Canadian wood, a meeting with the country’s leading wood industry association to discuss local market trends and opportunities, and a dynamic round table with prominent woman leaders from the business and non-profit communities.

The Parliamentary Secretary advanced numerous priorities during her visit to Singapore, which included generating new leads for Canadian softwood lumber exports, highlighting Canada as an attractive investment destination and promoting Canada’s progressive trade agenda to an influential group of women working in international trade. She also met with local wood-product importers, traders and builders, as well as with Pavilion Energy and the Keppel Corporation, where she gained useful insights into market developments for liquefied natural gas in Asia and promoted Canada’s leadership in the areas of clean energy and green cities. She also attended Sea Asia 2017, the premier maritime and offshore conference and exhibition in Asia, where a new report ranking the world’s leading maritime capitals concluded that Vancouver is poised to become a global maritime business centre.

The Parliamentary Secretary finished her trip in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, where she met with government and business representatives to highlight the appeal of Canada’s forest sector. She toured the CAE Multi-Purpose Training Centre and Simpor Pharma’s halal pharmaceutical plant, two successful Canada-Brunei joint ventures showcasing Canadian high-tech expertise. She also held a round table with leading female entrepreneurs and met with Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna.


“I leave Southeast Asia enthusiastic about opportunities for Canadian wood suppliers, and I look forward to raising the profile of the ASEAN market with wood associations in Canada. Canada is open for business and is ready to provide Southeast Asia with cost-competitive and reliable supplies of wood materials.”

- Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade 

Quick Facts

  • As a group, ASEAN ranks as Canada’s sixth-largest merchandise trading partner. In 2016, bilateral merchandise trade was $21.6 billion.

  • ASEAN has a combined population of over 638 million people. Together, ASEAN member states make up the seventh-largest economy in the world and the third-largest Asian economy, after China and India.

  • This year marks the 40th anniversary of strong and comprehensive relations between Canada and ASEAN.

  • Canada’s forests are truly an astonishing resource. At 348 million hectares, they make up about 10 percent of the world’s total forests.

  • In 2016, production in the forest sector contributed $22.3 billion, or 1.3 percent, to Canada’s real gross domestic product.

  • Forest product exports contribute substantially to the Canadian economy. By value, Canada is the world’s fourth-largest forest product exporter and the world’s leading exporter of softwood lumber and newsprint.

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