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Canada setting up ag office in Indo-Pacific region

Canada setting up ag office in Indo-Pacific region

The investment is “significant and positive” ag groups said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The federal government is taking steps to support Canadian ag in Asia.

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Thailand, Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada is investing $31.8 million to set up an agricultural office in the region.

The office will help “increase and diversify agriculture and agri-food exports to the Indo-Pacific, strengthening trade on both sides of the Pacific,” the Nov. 18 announcement says.

The Indo-Pacific region represents significant opportunities for Canadian agriculture.

About half of Canada’s non-durum wheat is exported to Asia, 75 per cent of Canadian lentils and peas are destined for that part of the world, as is around 40 per cent of Canadian canola, seed, oil and meal.

The Canola Council of Canada, Cereals Canada and Pulse Canada called for the creation of a trade diversification office in the Indo-Pacific region.

The organizations are pleased with the prime minister’s announcement and are ready to support the government if needed.

Today’s announcement is a significant and positive investment by the federal government in support of Canadian agriculture,” the organizations said in a joint statement on Nov. 18. “Our focus now will turn to ensuring this office is set up for success.”

The livestock sector also welcomed the announcement about a new ag office in Asia.

Vietnam, for example, has increased Canadian beef imports from $8 million in 2019 to $82 million in 2021 since the implementation of CPTPP.

Having a presence in Asia provides Canada with further opportunities for ag trade, said Reg Schellenger, president of the Canadian Cattle Association.

“It is important for Canada to have a proactive presence in the region to help address market assess barriers and increase Canadian beef exports by maintaining stable and open trade,” he said in a statement. has contacted Agriculture Minister Bibeau’s office for comment.

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