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Canada opens Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office

Canada opens Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office

The office is part of the government’s plan to diversify ag exports in the region

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Canada officially opened its Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office (IPAAO).

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay and other ag representatives attended an opening ceremony in Manila, Philippines on Feb. 21.

“The office will open doors for Canadian producers right across the Indo-Pacific, and help us create connections, share our expertise, and make our regional partnerships even stronger,” MacAulay said in an X post.

The Liberal government announced in November 2022 it was investing almost $32 million over five years to establish the IPAAO.

“This initiative will increase and diversify Canada’s agriculture and agri-food exports to the Indo-Pacific by establishing our first agriculture office in the region,” a government statement said at the time. This new office will position Canada as a preferred agriculture and agri-food supplier to the region, strengthening trade on both sides of the Pacific.

The Indo-Pacific region accounts for more than 1/3 of the world’s economic activity.

And in 2023, Canada exported almost $23 billion of ag products to this part of the world.

Members of the Canadian ag sector are excited about the opportunities the IPPAO can provide for Canadian farmers.

“We are proud to see the opening of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office and we look forward to working together to grow, open, and sustain markets across the region,” Andre Harpe, chair of Grain Growers of Canada, said in a statement.

“We are pleased to see the Government of Canada supporting our global trade efforts by opening this Indo-Pacific office, supporting our valued strategic partnership, and opening more trade avenues for Canadian beef producers,” Nathan Phinney, president of the Canadian Cattle Association, in a statement.

The IPAAO’s first executive director is already in place.

In December 2023, Minister MacAulay announced Diedrah Kelley would fill the role.

She was most recently the Consul General of Canada in Mumbai, India, and has more than 20 years of experience with Global Affairs Canada.

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