Canada and Sweden co-host virtual round table with women entrepreneurs

News release

March 2, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Supporting women entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses and access global markets generates growth, creates jobs, and will be key for an inclusive global economic recovery.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, co-hosted the Canada-Sweden Ideas Roundtable with Anna Hallberg, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs. 

The ministers listened to the women entrepreneurs, who shared their expertise and experience in innovative sectors, such as artificial intelligence and cleantech. They discussed the challenges and opportunities facing women entrepreneurs as both countries work toward an economic recovery that is sustainable and inclusive, and the ministers committed to working together to support women entrepreneurs in both countries.

During the round table, Minister Ng outlined Canada’s work to advance gender equality by removing barriers to women’s participation in trade, including through the adoption of the trade and gender recommendation in the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Minister Ng also highlighted Canada’s commitment to helping women entrepreneurs succeed, which includes an investment of nearly $5 billion in direct financing and dedicated support for women entrepreneurs under the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES).

Both ministers noted that today’s discussions are just the beginning and committed to continue working together to support all women as the 2 countries recover from the pandemic.


“Women entrepreneurs are leading the way for a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery in Canada and Sweden and around the world. We’re thrilled to work with Sweden on advancing gender equality and collaborating to support women entrepreneurs and remove barriers to their success.”

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

Quick facts

  • Two-way Canadian merchandise trade with Sweden averaged $2.8 billion annually during 2018 and 2019, up 10.1% compared to 2016—the last year before preferential tariff treatment under CETA was put into force in 2017.

  • As part of its Export Diversification Strategy, Canada is advancing an inclusive approach to trade that seeks to ensure that the benefits and opportunities flowing from trade are more widely shared, including with under-represented groups, such as women, small and medium-sized enterprises, and Indigenous peoples.

  • It is a priority of the Government of Canada to ensure that free trade agreements include trade and gender chapters and other inclusive provisions.

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Youmy Han
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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