Parliamentary Secretary Alghabra to lead first Government of Canada-led Indigenous trade mission to New Zealand

News release

October 4, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Canada’s trade diversification strategy is a strong push to both open new markets around the world and to ensure more segments of Canadian society have the tools, capacity and confidence to compete and succeed in them. That effort must include Indigenous peoples. Trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, signed with partners in the fast growing Asia-Pacific market, as well as targeted trade missions, such as the one to New Zealand open new doors to international trade for Indigenous peoples and Indigenous-owned businesses.

On behalf of the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification, will travel to Auckland and Rotorua, New Zealand, from October 8 to 11, 2018, to lead the first Government of Canada-led Indigenous trade mission from Canada. 

Parliamentary Secretary Alghabra will kick off his visit in Auckland, where he will attend a luncheon with business stakeholders to promote Canada’s diversification agenda.

On October 9 and 10, he will lead the trade mission to the World Indigenous Business Forum 2018, which is taking place in Rotorua. The mission’s objective is to secure more global opportunities for Canada’s exporters and investors to compete and succeed by diversifying and opening dynamic markets. The mission will also serve to further connect Indigenous businesses around the world with each other.

In addition to leading the business delegation, Parliamentary Secretary Alghabra will meet with government ministers and officials, as well as with business leaders.


“Canada is dedicated to meaningful and impactful collaboration with Indigenous entrepreneurs to strengthen Indigenous-to-Indigenous and other commercial relationships on a global scale. The success of our diversification agenda depends in large part on ensuring more segments of our society have the tools and access necessary to compete and succeed.”

- Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification

“We are deeply honoured to be receiving for the first time the presence of the trade mission led by the Government of Canada, and we see this as the natural development of the joint efforts to promote Indigenous Business and entrepreneurs from Canada and other parts of the globe.”

- Rosa Walker, President and CEO of the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute Inc

Quick facts

  • The value of merchandise trade between Canada and New Zealand totaled $1.2 billion in 2017. 

  • Direct Canadian investment in New Zealand reached a value of $804 million in 2017. 

  • Foreign direct investment in Canada from New Zealand reached a value of $46 million in 2017.

  • The World Indigenous Business Forum is the world’s only gathering dedicated to Indigenous economic development, entrepreneurism and business. 

  • This is the first-ever Indigenous trade mission led by the Government of Canada to participate in the World Indigenous Business Forum.

  • Indigenous peoples in Canada have been trading since time immemorial. The number of Indigenous enterprises in Canada has grown substantially. In 1996, there were just over 20,000; by 2016 there were over 53,000.

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