Jakarta/Singapore, 27 February 2023 (TDI): The Foreign Affairs Secretary of Canada, Maninder Sidhu & Minister of International Trade and Export, Mary Ng have completed an official visit to Singapore and Indonesia.

The purpose of the visit was to attend the Canada-in-Asia conference and engage with officials, business partners, and stakeholders to help advance Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Canada-in-Asia Conference

Minister Mary Ng has inaugurated Canada-in-Asia Conference in Singapore. The first event gathered Canadian individuals and organizations from across Asia to catalyze a new phase of Canada-Asia engagement.

At the 2 days conference, more than 580 attendees from 17 economies across the Asia Pacific discussed the next phase in Canada’s engagement with Asia.

Looking at Asia’s growth projection for the next decade, the conference underscores the importance and urgency to Canada to diversify and solidify its presence in a region that has become the world’s center of economic and geopolitical gravity.

During the Conference, Minister Mary announced funding of up to $1 million annually to expand Canada’s businesses and exports into the region.

Also read: Canada urges North Korea to cease missile launches, reaffirms Indo-Pacific Strategy

Both officials also met with Singapore Minister of Trade; Gan Kim Yong and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Vivian Balakrishnan to strengthen the economic relationship between Canada and Singapore and increase the trade and investment ties in the region.

Strengthening Indo-Pacific Strategy with ASEAN

In Indonesia, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Maninder Sidhu participated in the Canada-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Council. He engaged with the ASEAN business community to develop closer cooperation with ASEAN.

He also met with ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Kao Kim Hourn and discussed the engagement with ASEAN and promoted the Indo-Pacific Strategy with key stakeholders.

During the meeting with ASEAN Secretary General, Secretary Sidhu said that Canada shares the same vision as the ASEAN on promoting peace, resilience, and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

Sidhu also visited the coastal areas, in which Canada announced $20 million in 2022 to protect mangroves which will help prevent biodiversity loss and store carbon to fight climate change.

Additionally, he met with the Indonesian Minister of Energy, Arifin Tasrif. Sidhu discussed the Indo-Pacific strategy and specified the fight against Climate Change, he also reaffirmed cooperation to sustain infrastructure, critical minerals, and clean energy.