On a regular basis, the CABC provides high-level networking and sector-specific events for its Members.
CABC events are held across ASEAN and in Canada, often as a collaboration with our regional partners and members.
The CABC would like to invite you to the Trade & Investment Talk @ SBF: “Riding the Current International Trade War”.
This SBF session aims to provide companies practical insights on how to mitigate the current challenges of the international trade war by re-looking at their current supply chain, exploring alternative markets for their business, and leveraging on Singapore FTAs to increase competitive edge and gain better market access overseas.
The following trade experts, guest speakers and economists from the government and private sector will share on the economic impact of the trade war and possible business strategies for companies to adapt their operations to manage trade uncertainties.
- Irvin Seah (Executive Director, Group Research, DBS Bank)
- Shiumei Lin (Vice President, Public Affairs, UPS Asia Pacific)
- Angelia Chew (Founder & Managing Partner, AC Trade Advisory Pte Ltd)
- Toh Boon Ho (Deputy Director, Trade, Enterprise Singapore)
Click here for event details: Riding the Current International Trade War_ Event Poster (6 Sep)
CABC members enjoy member rate of S$19.26 (inclusive of 7% GST).
For any queries about the event, please contact Ms Laura Kuan, Senior Executive, SBF’s FTAs and International Relations Group: [DID: (65) 6827 6816 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org].
On September 1, the Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) participated at a dialogue with the Economic Ministers from the ASEAN and Canada (“the Ministers”) for the 7th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM)-Canada Consultations in Singapore.
The Consultations were co-chaired by H.E. Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore and the Honourable James Gordon Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, Canada.
The President of the CABC, Mr. Wayne Farmer, first gave an update on the CABC and its work in the past year.
“As the voice of the Canadian private sector in ASEAN, the CABC advocates for the policies that enable our best possible trading relationship,” said Mr. Farmer, as the CABC outlined the key policy recommendations by its Members that will benefit the entire business community within ASEAN.
According to the July 2018 CABC Members Survey, acceleration of formal discussion on an ASEAN-Canada free trade agreement is ranked by Canadian businesses in the ASEAN as their top advocacy concern.
Similarly, in Canada, research conducted by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in early 2018, showed increasing support for more engagement with ASEAN, with 63% of Canadians supporting an ASEAN-Canada FTA, compared with less than 40% in 2014.
The CABC’s Honorary Chairman, the Honourable Jean Charest, also sent a letter to Minister Carr, expressing the immense benefits of the logical trading partnership that is an ASEAN-Canada FTA.
“The current global trading environment is one of caution and protectionism, yet Canada and ASEAN are well positioned to stand together as champions of open trade,” said Mr. Farmer.
At the dialogue, the CABC was joined by its members which are mostly Canada’s leading companies in ASEAN.
These companies include the Bank of Nova Scotia, Manulife, Bank of Montreal, SNC-Lavalin, Export Development Canada, and CN Rail. Together with the CABC, their presence at the dialogue has demonstrated the immense support the Canadian private sector holds for deeper ASEAN-Canada trade.
At the 7th AEM-Canada Consultations, the Ministers welcomed the expanding trade and investment ties between ASEAN and Canada, noting that total merchandise trade was nearly USD 18 billion in 2017, an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year. This ranked Canada as the ninth largest merchandise trading partner of ASEAN. Meanwhile, the stock of Canadian Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in ASEAN amounted to USD 9.4 billion in 2017.
The Ministers also expressed their appreciation for Canada’s ongoing support to ASEAN’s efforts to promote inclusive and innovation-led growth through technical assistance.
The Ministers commended the Council for its advocacy and contribution to promoting ASEAN-Canada trade and investment, and welcomed the successful convening of the 4th Canada-ASEAN Business Forum in Singapore on 21–22 March 2018.
On September 1 2018, the Canada-ASEAN Business Council held an advocacy roundtable with new Minister for International Trade Diversification, the Honourable Jim Carr.
The CABC’s Executive Committee engaged in a lively and productive discussion with the Minister, over a buffet lunch at the Shangri-La Hotel. The meeting was sponsored by TD Bank and CN Rail, and enabled with the support of the CanCham Singapore.
Minister Carr opened the meeting with an acknowledgment that Canada’s trading future relies on a diversification of its export markets, and emphasized the appreciation held around the world for Canadian values. The floor was then turned to the CABC Executive Committee to respond to the question of “how can Canada help your business in the region?”.
Major points discussed at the meeting included:
- What should Canadian firms consider when looking at entering countries with higher levels of political risk, such as Myanmar.
- A lack of strong institutions in ASEAN means that capacity building initiatives will improve the opportunities for Canadian firms to invest confidently in the region.
- ASEAN currently has a massive appetite for technology adoption. Through increasing its capacity to export technology, Canada can be a strong player in the growth of ASEAN’s knowledge economy (artificial intelligence as one example). This is bolstered through its unique perception as a safe trading partner without the political challenges associated with other larger economies.
- Increased support for CABC via funding opportunities such as the GOA could facilitate greater awareness of the ASEAN opportunities for Canada’s SMEs trading abroad.
- Canada’s pension funds have been playing an increasingly active role in ASEAN, and that there is growing demand for Canadian pension fund capital in the region.
- ASEAN is less risky of a market than it is often made out to be, and that new Canadian businesses and must be made aware of this opportunity. While small business will often follow in the footsteps of larger players, Canada’s SME champions can help lead the way.
- A more consistent presence from the Canadian Government in the region would help clarify its intended level of engagement.
- A major issue for Canadian businesses trading with Asia Pacific is not a lack of awareness but rather a lack of market access – for example, there is a major lost opportunity through lack of oil pipelines to the West Coast.
The CABC thanks Minister Carr and his team for taking the time to build a relationship with our Members and looks forward to continuing to work closely with him as a key partner in the CABC’s mission to deepen Canada’s trade ties with ASEAN.
“The Canada Advantage” is a joint report produced collaboratively by the CABC, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Building on the momentum of the 2017 report “The ASEAN Advantage”, the report endeavours to drive continued support and awareness for an ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement, with a focus on the benefits that ASEAN stands to receive from such agreement.
The August 23 event aims to bring together key stakeholders in the ASEAN-Canada FTA for a breakfast event in Singapore, the ASEAN Chair for 2018.
Sponsored by AirAsia, the breakfast session will feature a presentation by contributing partners on the report’s findings, an analysis on the upcoming AEM-Canada Consultations on September 1, and an interactive Q&A session with a panel of experts.
Click here to read post – event report.
The international world order is undergoing a tectonic shift – the US is preoccupied with domestic issues, Brexit is rattling the EU and China’s trajectory towards global dominance appears unchecked. Against this changing backdrop, the future of the bloc of ten southeast Asian countries is in limbo. Can ASEAN seize the opportunity and transform itself into a powerhouse capable of challenging the new global paradigm?
For more information and to register click here.
*For CABC Members only.
On 20-21st June in Singapore, the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics in SMU will be hosting its 8th Annual SKBI Conference. Titled “Charting A Roadmap Towards A New Data Regime For The Digital Economy”, the conference seeks to identify the most critical building blocks of an enabling regional data ecosystem. Hence, the conference would also act as a meeting point for the public and private sectors to come together to discuss and develop a roadmap that can show the way forward. It is jointly organised with the APEC Business Advisory Council, Asia Pacific Financial Forum and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) World Bank, supported by Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore Business Federation and Deutsche Bank.
To learn more please visit ww. skbi.smu.edu.sg.