Minister Ng concludes successful visits to Thailand and Singapore

News release

May 25, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Helping businesses find innovative ways to diversify trade and expand into growth markets is key to a sustainable, inclusive economic recovery and transition to a green economy.

This week, Minister Ng concluded visits to Thailand and Singapore that advanced progress toward strengthening Canada’s trade relationships in the Indo-Pacific—a region crucial to Canada’s trade diversification strategy—by building partnerships and creating more opportunities for Canadian businesses to export their innovative products and services.

In Thailand, on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, Minister Ng announced that Canada has submitted a formal request to launch negotiations for Canada’s accession to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA). Joining DEPA would further secure Canada’s position at the forefront of the global digital economy and boost Canadian innovation.

In Singapore, the Minister also announced Canada’s intention to launch a design study exploring the establishment of a Canadian trade gateway in Southeast Asia. This study will assess how Canada can enhance its presence in the region and leverage Singapore’s dynamic market and connectivity as a gateway to all Southeast Asia.  

In both countries, Minister Ng met with her counterparts, representatives of Canadian companies, potential investors, and women business leaders to discuss opportunities for further collaboration, trade, and investment. Throughout the meetings, the Minister promoted Canadian cleantech innovations and expertise and underscored the need to drive sustainable economic growth as the world works toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions. 

In Thailand, Minister Ng met with Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, to discuss the growing bilateral trade and investment relationship between their countries. Minister Ng emphasized the importance of advancing negotiations on a Canada-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) free trade agreement, which when completed will create significant trade and investment opportunities for Canadian businesses. The ministers discussed issues related to the WTO, including the path to making the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12), in June 2022, a success. Minister Ng also requested access to the Thai market for Canadian pork products.

In Singapore, Minister Ng met with Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry, to discuss opportunities to work together to drive green growth and expand cooperation on the digital economy following Canada’s Digital Economy Partnership Agreement accession request. The ministers also discussed Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement negotiations and WTO issues, in preparation for MC12.

Throughout the trip, Minister Ng coordinated with partners in unequivocally condemning Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine and urged her counterparts to uphold the rules-based international order. She reaffirmed that Canada stands resolute against authoritarianism and with a free and democratic Ukraine.


“Our government is actively expanding Canada’s presence in the Indo-Pacific region. This trip has opened the door to further trade and investment opportunities, including through the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement and measures to enhance Canada’s presence in the region, that will benefit Canadian businesses and exporters. Our government will continue to support Canadian businesses to start up, scale up, and expand into new markets around the world.”

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

Quick facts

  • Thailand is currently Canada’s second-largest ASEAN trading partner.

  • In 2021, the value of Canada-Thailand bilateral merchandise trade totalled nearly $5 billion. Canadian merchandise exports in 2021 to Thailand were valued at $870 million while the value of imports from Thailand amounted to $4.1 billion.

  • In 2020, the value of Canadian direct investment in Thailand totalled $326 million, and Thai direct investment in Canada was valued at $57 million.

  • In 2020, the value of Canadian services exports to Thailand totalled $194 million, and the value of imports totalled $179 million.

  • Key sectors of opportunity in Thailand for Canadian exporters include agri-food, cleantech, and education.

  • In 2021, Canada-Singapore bilateral merchandise trade totalled a value of $2.2 billion.

  • Canadian merchandise exports in 2021 to Singapore were valued at $1.2 billion while the value of imports from Singapore amounted to $1 billion.

  • Services trade between Canada and Singapore totalled a value of $3.5 billion in 2021.

  • In 2020, Singapore was Canada’s largest Southeast Asian destination for Canadian direct investment abroad, at a value of $7.8 billion, and its largest source of foreign direct investment from the region, at $1.3 billion.

  • Key sectors of opportunity in Singapore for Canadian exporters include infrastructure; financial services; cleantech; digital industries; life sciences; and science, technology, and innovation.

Associated links


Alice Hansen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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