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Canadian government to open Indo-Pacific agriculture trade office

by Jonathan Foley

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced several new pieces of the Canadian government’s yet-to-be-released Indo-Pacific Strategy while in Thailand for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Friday.

The announcement included $31.8 million designated to establish Canada’s first agriculture trade office in the region to “increase and diversify agriculture and agri-food exports to the Indo-Pacific, strengthening trade on both sides of the Pacific.”

Organizations that represent agricultural commodities that are exported to Asian markets, including canola, pulses, and wheat, have been calling for an increased presence in the region. Reaction to the announcement was swift, as the Canola Council of Canada, Cereals Canada, and Pulse Canada issued a joint statement applauding the news:

“The Indo-Pacific region represents a significant opportunity for Canada to diversify its agricultural exports while positively impacting global food security. Today’s announcement is a significant and positive investment by the federal government in support of Canadian agriculture.

Our organizations, which represent over $45 billion in annual economic activity and support over 250,000 jobs, are pleased to see the inclusion of a Canadian Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office in the government’s Indo-Pacific strategy. While Canada’s cereals, canola and pulse industries enjoy a significant export share within the region and there are great opportunities, the rise of non-tariff barriers may prevent Canada from achieving its full potential in the region.


New resources to tackle sanitary and phytosanitary issues in a strategic, coordinated manner with industry will help maintain and build market access for Canada’s agriculture exports. We want to thank the federal government for recognizing the important role Canadian agriculture will play in growing exports in this region…

Our focus will now turn to ensuring this office is set up for success. Our organizations, together with others in the sector, will continue to work with government to establish a Canadian Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office focused on delivering results that Canadian agriculture needs to serve this valuable, growing region.”

The announcement did not specify in which country or city the office will physically be located.

Also included in the announcement was $45 million to launch a series of enhanced Minister-led trade missions to the Indo-Pacific to support exporters and regionally-based Canadian Chambers of Commerce in Indo-Pacific markets to facilitate long-term trade and investment opportunities. $92.5 million has also been committed to expanding capacity at Canada’s missions in the Indo-Pacific and within Global Affairs Canada to deepen diplomatic, trade, development, and climate ties with regional partners and defend Canadian interests in the region.


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