Minister Champagne to travel to Asia to advance Canada’s progressive trade agenda and to conduct a forest products trade mission

News Release

May 16, 2017 – Ottawa, ON - Global Affairs Canada

Now more than ever, Canada is focused on stimulating economic growth at home by increasing trade with partners in Asia. Fast-growing markets in the region offer enormous potential for Canadian businesses and opportunities to create good-paying jobs for Canada’s middle class.

Speaking to an audience of Canadian business executives in Ottawa, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, today reiterated the importance of relations between Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as Canada celebrates 40 years of engagement in the region. The Minister also took the opportunity to announce his upcoming travel to East and Southeast Asia from May 20 to 26, 2017.

On May 20 and 21, Minister Champagne will take part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, to promote Canada’s progressive trade approach and advance engagement with Asia Pacific.

While in Vietnam, Minister Champagne will meet with senior government and business leaders to discuss ways to expand Canada’s trade, including in Canadian forest products, with Vietnam.

On May 22 in Singapore, the Minister will meet with representatives of key ministries, to advance trade and investment relations. He will meet with leaders of Singapore’s construction industry to promote innovative Canadian building systems and wood exports. He will speak at Canada’s B2B Networking Marketplace @ CommunicAsia/BroadcastAsia 2017, an event hosted by Canada’s High Commission in Singapore to showcase Canadian information and communication technology companies, and he will meet with members of the Canada-ASEAN Business Council and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

The Minister will be in Seoul, South Korea, on May 24, to advance trade and investment relations and promote Canada’s wood and wood products. He will meet with government officials as well as representatives of businesses operating in South Korea. He will also join a round table to discuss education and business with participants from Sookmyung Women’s University.  

Minister Champagne will also visit Tokyo, Japan, where, on May 25 and 26, he will be joined by Canadian associations to promote Canada’s wood and forest sectors and seek new growth opportunities for Canadian businesses in the Japanese market, Canada’s second-largest export market in Asia for forestry products. Minister Champagne’s itinerary will include remarks at the AG/Sum Agritech summit and meetings with business leaders, including businesswomen. He will also meet with senior Japanese officials, including the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.


“Canada is a trading nation, and growing our trade relations with Asia is a top priority. Asia represents significant opportunities for trade and investment with Canada that will create long-term growth, good jobs and an economy that works for the middle class. I am proud to be in Asia for the second time in a month promoting our world-class forest products.”

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick Facts

  • APEC’s aim is to facilitate economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC members include economies critical to Canada’s future economic prosperity and security interests.

  • The APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting is held in preparation for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November.

  • In August of 2016, Minister Freeland and economic ministers of the 10 ASEAN member states tasked officials with preparing terms of reference for a feasibility study on the merits of a free trade agreement between Canada and the fast-growing ASEAN region.

  • In 2016, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service served over 1,650 Canadian firms looking for opportunities in the ASEAN market, and companies from the region invested more than $1 billion in Canada.

  • Vietnam has been Canada’s largest ASEAN trading partner since 2015. Two-way merchandise trade totalled nearly $5.5 billion in 2016, up from $4.7 billion in 2015.

  • The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region, entered into force on January 1, 2015. South Korea was Canada’s sixth-largest export market in 2016.

  • Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Japan totalled more than $26 billion in 2016, making Japan Canada’s fourth-largest trading partner.

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