Image of François-Philippe Champagne: Facebook
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Toronto, May 29 (Canadian-Media): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canadian Minister of International Trade concluded a week-long trip to East and Southeast Asia On May 26 to boost trade and investment relationships, media reports said.
“During my official visits to Asia, I have seen first-hand the rapid growth taking place across the region. Asia represents massive opportunities for Canadian businesses that will translate into more innovation, and commercial connections that will help create more jobs and growth at home for Canada’s middle class,” said Champagne, Global Affairs Canada reports said.
According to reports, the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) rank as Canada’s sixth-largest merchandise trading partner, with bilateral merchandise trade in 2016 being $21.6 billion.
Asia’s fast-growing markets reportedly showed great promise as trading partners and is a top priority for the Government of Canada.
This partnership, said the reports, would not only improve bilateral investment, but create more jobs and improve economy to benefit the middle class.
Canada’s second-largest trading partner in Asia was reported to be Japan with Canada’s merchandise exports to Japan being up 9.7 percent since 2015, with the top exports being agri-food products, forest products, and metallurgical, coal and copper ores.
During his trip to Hanoi, Vietnam; Singapore; Seoul, South Korea; and Tokyo, Japan to identify export markets for Canada’s world-class forest products, Champagne met with senior government officials, his international counterparts, media, and local entrepreneurs in wood-product importers and architects, woman entrepreneurs, youth, and innovative companies.
Champagne’s discussion, said the reports, with woman executives and entrepreneurs aimed to further the cause of women’s economic empowerment
Champagne also participated in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in preparation for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November 2017 and had useful meetings with companies using Canadian wood products and companies interested in potentially growing imports.
An APEC Business Advisory Council meeting, is reported to be hosted in Toronto In July 2017 in which all business and political leaders, from the Asia-Pacific region, focused on increasing trade and economic cooperation, would get a chance to participate.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)