International forums such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are critical platforms for advancing our global economic recovery from COVID-19 and to securing a sustainable future economy for all.
On May 21st and 22nd, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
Throughout the APEC working meetings, Minister Ng emphasised Canada’s commitment to strengthening its relationships in the Asia-Pacific region and working with APEC economies on important areas including WTO reform, digitalization, climate change, and inclusive growth.
Minister Ng unequivocally condemned Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and together with like-minded partners urged APEC economies uphold the rules-based international order, including rules-based trade, which is under direct threat from Russia. Minister Ng met with counterparts from Australia, Brunei, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States to advance Canada’s relationships with these economies. Minister Ng also met with the Secretary General of ASEAN to promote the advancement of ongoing free trade negotiations.
On the margins of the APEC meetings, Minister Ng met with her counterparts from Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore to announce that Canada has submitted a formal request to launch negotiations for Canada’s accession to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA). Joining DEPA will position Canadian business and workers at the forefront of the rapidly growing digital economy.
Minister Ng also participated in a working session of the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) to make progress on discussions surrounding support for Small and Medium-sized enterprise and inclusive trade, including women’s economic empowerment, breaking down systemic barriers for Black entrepreneurs, and Indigenous economic partnerships.
The Government of Canada is committed to diversifying our trade relationships in order to rebuild the global economy in a way that is resilient, inclusive and sustainable. Minister Ng will build on these conversations as she continues on her visit to South East Asia to Thailand and Singapore.