The Government of Canada has announced the home of its new Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office — Manila, Philippines.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, made the announcement while meeting with the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) on Wednesday.
The Office is a joint venture between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. It will consist of a mobile team that will work directly with Canadian diplomatic missions, Canadian stakeholders, foreign interlocutors and decision makers in the region to advance mutual trade objectives for the sector, the government says.
Establishing a headquarters in the region is part of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) designed to strengthen partnerships, advance technical cooperation, support Canadian exporters in finding new business opportunities, and help position Canada as a preferred supplier in the region, according to AAFC.
“The Philippines is an important partner under the Indo-Pacific Strategy. Hosting this new Office is an opportunity to build on our economic relationship, and enrich people-to-people ties. Our Government will continue to help Canadian farmers, food processors and exporters maximize their opportunities, and diversify their markets in the world’s fastest-growing economic zone,” says Bibeau.
Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development says in a news release that, “Canada’s agriculture and agri-food exporters have long called for an Indo-Pacific Strategy that would help us seize the many opportunities that exist in these dynamic and fast-growing markets. We are pleased that Canada’s Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food office will be established in Manila, a growing trading partner for Canada and a key member of ASEAN.”
In 2022, Canada’s agriculture and agri-food exports to the Indo-Pacific region totalled $21.8 billion. During the 2018-2022 period, agriculture and agri-food exports to the region expanded by nearly 7 per cent, while imports from the region have grown by nearly 9 per cent