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Jan De Silva joins Louis Vachon and Brad Wall as Canada co-chair of the CABC

Press release

From left to right: Thi Be Nguyen, Executive Director - Canada of CABC, Ray Williams, Vice-Chair at National Bank of Canada and Member of the board of Toronto Global, Wayne Farmer, President of CABC, Honorable Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade of Ontario, Jan De Silva, CABC Canada Co-Chair, Former President & CEO of Toronto Region Board of Trade and Canada's Representative to the APEC Business Advisory Council, Stephen Lund, CEO of Toronto Global, Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang (Vietnam), Consul General Dyah Lestari Asmarani (Indonesia), Consul General Angelica Escalona (Philippines), and Honorary Consul of Malaysia (Toronto).

Jan De Silva joins Louis Vachon and Brad Wall as Canada co-chair of the Canada-ASEAN Business Council

Toronto and Singapore, October 26, 2023 -- The Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) is pleased to announce the appointment of former President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Janet (Jan) De Silva, as Canada co-chair, joining co-chairs Louis Vachon and Brad Wall. The announcement was made at a CABC Networking Reception held in Toronto for Canadian businesses and Southeast Asian dignitaries, aimed at raising awareness of the business opportunities between Canada and the fast-growing region.

“Jan is a tremendous addition to our team of CABC distinguished co-chairs helping further our advocacy, networking, and education efforts in the Canada-ASEAN economic corridor,” said Wayne Farmer, CABC President and Managing Partner at Islemount Capital Advisers. “Jan’s constant efforts over the years to make Toronto a more competitive and globally impactful region, coupled with her experience in ASEAN countries will be key in the success of our members and the many countries we cover.”

“ASEAN is one of the world’s highest growth regions with tremendous focus on economic growth and climate transition initiatives. Canada has incredible bench-strength of proven technologies and businesses to contribute to these initiatives. I am delighted to work with my fellow co-chairs and the dynamic team at CABC to connect Canadian business to our networks and opportunities, ” commented De Silva.

From January 2015 to September 2023, Jan served as President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, one of the largest and most influential business organizations in North America. She previously served as CEO of Sun Life Financial’s Hong Kong and Mainland China businesses; co-founded, was CEO and later sold Retail China Limited and was Dean of Ivey Asia for Ivey Business School of Western University. Jan has been Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Chair of the Canada China Business Council in Beijing and served on the Board of the Asian Corporate Governance Association. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed her to two terms representing Canada on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) where she chairs the Council’s Digital & Innovation Working Group. Jan is also a director of Intact Financial Corporation.

The appointment of De Silva’s was complimented by the announcement of new CABC partner, Toronto Global joining the ranks of distinguished Canadian business organizations. Toronto Global supports the expansion of international businesses into the Toronto Region by connecting government, industry and academia and driving new investment opportunities to the Toronto region.

“The Indo Pacific region is the fastest growing region in the world,” said Stephen Lund, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Global. “This partnership offers immense opportunities for the Toronto Region to build business investment and growth that reflects our standing as the business, financial and tech capital of Canada.”

“With both Jan and Toronto Global’s support, the Canada-ASEAN Business Council will be providing an expanded presence for international companies in the Toronto Region. We will also be building on a set of tools and connections to support Toronto-based Canadian companies to explore commercial opportunities in Southeast Asia, as well as enrich the presence of ASEAN partner organizations and businesses in Canada,” added Wayne Farmer.

ASEAN is increasingly seen as an attractive trade partner at Canada’s federal and provincial levels.

"Earlier this month, we led a business mission to Asia where we announced plans to open a Trade and Investment Office in Singapore in 2024, to serve as Ontario's gateway to ASEAN," said Vic Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "Our government fully understands the strategic long-term importance of boosting our economic ties with ASEAN's 660 million consumers and $4 trillion economy. We welcome Jan's appointment to the Council, and we look forward to the positive impact she'll bring."

With Canada’s recent commitment to establish an ASEAN-Canada Strategic Partnership made by Prime Minister Trudeau during the ASEAN-Canada Leaders’ Summit in Jakarta in September, the CABC continues to make strides in bolstering its leadership, strategic partnerships and initiatives for supporting Canadian businesses in the Southeast Asian region. Companies that are interested in learning about opportunities in ASEAN or joining the CABC are invited to visit

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About the Canada-ASEAN Business Council

The Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) was established in 2012 by Canadian private sector companies operating in Southeast Asia. It is the pre-eminent organisation with an ASEAN region-wide mandate to promote and increase trade relations between Canada and ASEAN. CABC membership includes leading Canadian enterprises active in ASEAN, and is open to companies and organizations conducting business or considering doing business between Canada and the ASEAN region. The CABC is headquartered in Singapore, count a Canada office in Montreal and is registered as a Canadian federal not-for-profit organisation. Discover the CABC executive team members:


In Canada In Singapore

Thi Be Nguyen Nicky Lung

Executive Director in Canada Executive Director

Canada-ASEAN Business Council Canada-ASEAN Business Council

M. 438 526-8407 M. +65 9235 6050


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