Minister Ng announces Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s first virtual trade mission to South Korea for women entrepreneurs

News release

September 9, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Advancing women’s economic empowerment and participation in trade is fundamental to the Government of Canada’s Export Diversification Strategy and is key to ensuring that the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is inclusive and sustainable.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, joined the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada to announce the first virtual trade mission to South Korea for women, supported by an investment from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy’s Ecosystem Fund.

Through a series of virtual sessions, panel discussions, and business training, this mission—which will take place on November 3 and 4, 2020—will promote the expertise of Canadian women entrepreneurs in STEM sectors such as healthtech, biotech, agritech, and edutech with a focus on innovative and sustainable solutions in care services.

The mission will help Canadian women entrepreneurs explore opportunities in South Korea and help them grow their businesses in the international marketplace while also deepening the strong economic relationship between Canada and South Korea.

Canada is committed to advancing women’s economic empowerment by championing inclusive and rules-based trade that will help Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs overcome the impacts of the pandemic—ensuring that the global economic recovery includes all people, including women entrepreneurs, Indigenous business owners, and more.

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada will select and coach 20 women entrepreneurs for this virtual trade mission through a series of virtual sessions occurring across a 2-week period in the fall of 2020. Interested candidates have until September 21 to submit their delegate applications, and successful applicants will be required to attend the pre-mission virtual training sessions.


“Canada is committed to an inclusive approach to trade, ensuring that everyone can access the benefits and opportunities of international trade. This virtual trade mission will pave the way for Canadian women entrepreneurs to expand their businesses in South Korea and the dynamic, growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region—and bring more Canadian innovative solutions to the world.”

- Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

“Supporting women entrepreneurs to expand into Asian markets will help our collective efforts to reboot Canada’s economy because the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement gives our businesses an edge over our competitors. South Korea is an excellent entry point into Asia’s growth markets.”

- Christine Nakamura, Vice-President at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s Toronto Office

Quick facts

  • Women-owned enterprises saw their exports gain a 150% jump from 2011 to 2017. More than 12,000 Canadian women-owned companies are exporting today.

  • Launched in 2018, Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is a comprehensive, whole-of-government plan totalling nearly $5 billion in federal investments to help women grow their businesses through access to financing, mentorship, expertise, and networks of support.

  • The year 2020 marks the fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA). Under the CKFTA, Canada has seen significant export gains across a number of sectors, notably in agriculture, fish and seafood, and pharmaceuticals.

  • The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service is committed to supporting its business community, including women entrepreneurs, by providing up-to-date market intelligence, advice on local laws and measures in response to COVID-19, and details on CanExport financing.

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Ryan Nearing
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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