Canadian Trade Commissioner Service | Jan 25, 2022
In this issue, our first in 2022, we are taking a special look at Asian markets, specifically those in Northeast, Southeast and South Asia, the world’s fastest‑growing region.
There are countless opportunities for Canadian companies in every part of this region, in every economic sector. While competition is fierce, several advantages give Canada a leg up on many of its competitors. One is the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Canada is a party to the CPTPP, along with Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam. Canada’s market access opportunities will grow once Brunei Darussalam, Chile, and Malaysia, who are also signatories to the CPTPP, ratify the Agreement, as well as through potential expansion of the CPTPP via future accessions. Canada also has a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea, the world’s 10th-largest economy and importer of goods in 2020.
In November of 2021, Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed to proceed with negotiations toward a comprehensive FTA. As a bloc, ASEAN’s 10 member states represent the world’s fifth‑largest economy in 2020 and, with a population of some 661 million, the third‑most populous consumer market. According to International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Minister Mary Ng, last November’s agreement to launch negotiations is an “important opportunity to create new opportunities for our businesses in this rapidly growing market.” In a complementary effort, Canada also launched Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations with Indonesia in June of last year. Indonesia is already Canada’s largest merchandise export market in Southeast Asia and a key destination for Canadian agricultural products, manufactured goods and natural resources. A CEPA would enhance opportunities for Canadians to export to this dynamic market of 270 million people.
Canadian companies seeking to expand into Asian markets can take advantage of the TCS’s advice, local contacts and on‑the‑ground support throughout the region. The TCS has a vast network of offices across Asia, staffed by Trade Commissioners with extensive knowledge of their markets and sectors of focus. That includes trade offices in each of the 10 ASEAN countries; 14 offices across mainland China; eight across India; five in Japan; and one each in South Korea, Taiwan and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.