Address by the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development


Launch of the Team Canada Trade Mission

February 20, 2023 - Singapore

Check against delivery. This speech has been translated in accordance with the Government of Canada’s official languages policy and edited for posting and distribution in accordance with its communications policy.

Hello everyone, bonjour tout le monde, and thank you Brenda for that warm introduction!

I am thrilled to be back in Singapore with you, Minister Tan, Caroline Berube and the Business Council of Canada and the Singapore Business Federation (SPF).

We have a terrific Team Canada presence here in Singapore. I want to thank the Asia-Pacific Foundation for their leadership in organizing the Canada-in-Asia Conference and the Asia Business Leaders Advisory Council Conference, who are convening and bringing together businesses, investors, thought leaders, and post secondary institutions for our first Team Canada mission into the Indo-Pacific region.

I am extremely pleased to be here today to kick off our Team Canada missions, along with over 175 Canadian businesses and organizations right here in Singapore today, including the financial sector, pension funds, infrastructure, financial services & fintech, professional services, ICT, education, aerospace.

Why the Indo Pacific

Over the year I have been to the region 11 times. To Singapore last October, before that to India, Thailand, Japan, Cambodia and Indonesia! I’ve seen first hand the opportunities for more partnerships that will improve lives on both sides of the Pacific.

The Indo-Pacific is world’s fastest growing region on the planet, and by 2030 – just 6 years from now – it will be home to two-thirds of the global middle class.

By 2040, it will account for over half of the worlds GDP.

What this means is that every issue that matters to Canadians – our economy, good middle class jobs, democratic values, national security, and human rights – they will all be shaped by our relationship with the Indo-Pacific region.

Recent events have shown that what happens in one area of the world – whether that’s one geographic location, one industry, or one economy – affects us all.

That’s why, just a few months ago, we launched Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy.

This strategy aims to:

  1. Expand Canada’s Trade network at home and abroad.
  2. Enhance rules-based trade that provides predictability for economies and exporters.
  3. Ensure resiliency of supply chains.
  4. Increase export diversification for SMEs, indeed businesses of all sizes and free trade access.

Indo-Pacific Strategy/ Team Canada

In the strategy, we are investing $24 million to establish a new Canadian Trade Gateway in Southeast Asia – right here in Singapore – which will be Canada’s front door to the region – to help expand business, innovation and investment opportunities – more to come on that very soon!

As part of this Gateway, we will appoint a new Canadian Indo-Pacific Trade representative to advance and lead economic partnerships and cooperation in the region.

We are committing $45 million for the Team Canada trade missions we are launching today, working with provinces and territories, focused on inclusive trade and on sectors in which Canada has a competitive advantage.

We are strengthening Canada’s international student program with permanent residence and job opportunities for students form the Indo-Pacific as part of a $75 million investment in visa processing.

We have also committed $65 million to enhance Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation partnerships in the region to support co-innovation and commercialization.

And to support the region’s need for high-quality, sustainable infrastructure partners, we will invest $750 million dollars into Findev for infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific.

We will maximize the trade-development nexus to further unlock large-scale investment, by working with our Canadian pension funds and investors, who are already some of the largest private-sector investors in the region.

As Canada’s Trade Minister, I am sure many of you have heard me say that one in six jobs in Canada depend on international trade. This means that they depend on more than the strength and security of Canada’s economy alone, but on economies around the world.

To secure our economic future we NEED to have strong trading relationships with partners around the world. It’s how we protect our jobs and businesses at home.

As a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership – also known as the CPTPP – Canada has preferential access to some of the biggest markets in the region, and working on securing even more.

In my first trip to the Indo-Pacific this year, I launched negotiations towards an Early Progress Trade Agreement with India. We are also at the negotiating table with ASEAN and Indonesia, as well as advancing discussions around the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.

And we continue to work with our CPTPP partners to ensure that any form of expansion will be based on high standards and track records.

More than just words on paper, however, I’ve seen these partnerships in action, to the mutual benefit of Canadian exporters and Indo-Pacific communities.

From the Canadian durum wheat arriving at the ports in Jakarta for one of the largest milling operations in the world…

To the longest skyway in Manila, PHILIPPINES designed by incredible Canadian engineering talent…

To the Canadian AI solution deployed by ASEAN to detect and proactively manage COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the pandemic for 650 million people.

Jollibee, the signature restaurant chain in the Philippines, is now a mainstream brand name across Canada.

The CP Group, one of Thailand’s largest companies, is investing in Canadian agri-food production, and seeking to leverage our clean energy mix on the journey to net zero.

These examples are the proof in the pudding – our businesses and stakeholders are already doing the work together, lets do more.

And we aren’t doing this alone.

We are working with partners across the region, and leveraging the Business Council of Canada and, here in Singapore, the Singapore Business Federation (SPF), as well as other organizations to help bring more well-known Canadian names through the trade gateway, and into the region.


In closing I would say this, to our businesses and entrepreneurs, know that this government will support you every step of the way as you start up, scale up, and access new markets in the Indo-Pacific.

This is a strategy for all Canadians, including our future generations whose livelihoods will depend on how Canada today chooses to engage in this region.

I am very excited to work on this strategy that will grow today’s economy, and the jobs of tomorrow.

Thank you, merci!

Page details

Date modified: