Advancing trade ties, investment, and innovation with Singapore
Good morning, everyone. Hello, everyone.
I arrived in Singapore yesterday to meet with many business leaders who want to make more investments to create good jobs in Canada. And a little later on this morning, I will have the opportunity to sit with the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong.
Singapore is an economic powerhouse, a global hub in this dynamic region. It was great to meet with many prominent business leaders to talk about opportunities in Canada and Canadian business interests in the region.
I reminded them that Canada is an excellent investment destination because of our enduring stability, high labour and environmental standards, and robust supply chains.
This week, I also took part in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Indonesia. It’s important for Canada to be here to strengthen our ties in the region.
Earlier this week, we were in Jakarta, where we launched the ASEAN-Canada Strategic Partnership. Canada being elevated to a strategic partner means that we’ll be able to cooperate even further on a range of things like security and on building a more prosperous future for all of our countries. In Canada, around one in six jobs is linked to exports.
Last year, Canadian exports from and imports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations increased by nearly 30% from the year prior.
These are not just numbers. These are people’s jobs and livelihoods. I think of companies like Synauta in Calgary that uses AI to treat more water using less energy and fewer chemicals. Well, last year, Synauta announced a partnership with Singapore’s National Water Agency to optimize cleaning schedules using machine learning. I think of entrepreneurs like Hieu Tran and his company, Canadian Vita in Mississauga, who found that there is a strong demand in Vietnam for Canadian-grown ginseng.
The CPTPP eliminated tariffs from the ginseng Tran exports to Vietnam, and today, Vietnam represents 60% of his company’s sales. I want to see more of these success stories, and that’s exactly why we’re here.
We want to see more Canadian businesses succeed here in the Indo-Pacific. That’s why we are opening an Export Development Canada office in Jakarta, and in Jakarta we’re also going to appoint the first Canadian Indo-Pacific Trade Representative. Here in Singapore, we will establish the Canadian Trade Gateway. These initiatives will help businesses like the ones I just mentioned do even more business in Southeast Asia.
And of course, we’ve committed to finalizing the CEPA trade deal with Indonesia by the end of 2024, and we’re continuing our negotiations for a free trade agreement between Canada and all of ASEAN. Beyond trade, the other way we can create economic growth is by promoting stability in the region. With the pandemic, with natural disasters, with wars and conflicts, these past few years have shown us how interconnected we all are, while stability benefits us all. As part of our mutual interest in supporting a rules-based international order and protecting security in the Indo-Pacific, Canada will invest an additional $10 million to help ASEAN prevent, detect and respond to biological threats like pandemics. We’ll also provide $2.6 million to support nuclear security training in Thailand and help expand training within Southeast Asia. And with Singapore, we will renew the Canada-Singapore Cybersecurity Agreement.
This continues to be a very productive week. We are working with our partners on trade and security, and we also discussed collaborating in education and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
We look forward to the Canada-ASEAN Partnership Forum on Education this November in Vancouver, where we’ll be welcoming over 250 delegates from the world of education to build connections between academic institutions.
Canada has much to offer. We’re hard-working, we have an ambitious and high-quality workforce. We can contribute to food and energy security, we’re a reliable and responsible trade partner, including for clean technologies and critical minerals, and we’re an excellent investment destination. I look forward to continuing to work on our priorities during the G20 summit, to create good jobs, make life more affordable, fight climate change, and keep people safe.
Thank you, everyone!
Thank you for coming!