Jul 17, 2024

 March 1, 2024 — Canada on February 21 formally opened in the Philippines its first agriculture office for the vast Indo-Pacific region.

The new office is called the Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office (IPAAO).

Canadian Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay was in Manila for the opening of IPAAO.

MacAulay said the Philippines was selected as site of the new office because of its strong relations with Canada and its strategic location in the Indo-Pacific region

“We have a great relationship with the Philippines, it’s a central location,” MacAulay told media.

The opening of the IPAAO coincides with this year’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The creation of the office is part of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy that was launched by the federal government in November 2022.

The strategy aims to position Canada for opportunities in the vitally important Indo-Pacific region.

Canada considers the Philippines an important partner under the Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Online, the government explains that it places importance on “building upon Canada’s reputation as a stable and trusted supplier for agriculture, agri-food and seafood products”. 

“The office will enhance market access, advance technical cooperation, identify new business opportunities for Canadian exporters to diversify their exports and support investment attraction efforts into Canada.”

The IPAAO is an initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

In a media release on June 7, 2023, the government noted that the office 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 office’s work will “help position Canada as a preferred supplier in the region”.

In the same media release, the government noted that global agrifood and seafood imports into ASEAN markets have increased by 177 percent from 2012 to 2022 (from CA$72 billion to CA$200 billion).

Canada places great importance on the Indo-Pacific region.

In an earlier release on December 3, 2022, the government explained that the Indo-Pacific encompasses more than 40 economies.

The region's economies accounted for 24 per cent of Canada's total agri-food and seafood exports in 2021. 

At present, the Indo-Pacific makes up more than one-third of all global economic activity.

It also accounts for 65 percent of the global population.  

Moreover, the Indo-Pacific region is projected to account for more than half of the global economy by 2040. 

Canada is one of the top exporters of agri-food and seafood in the world.

In 2022, the country exported nearly $92.8 billion in agriculture and food products, including raw agricultural materials, fish and seafood, and processed foods).

Canada is the fifth-largest exporter of agri-food and seafood in the world, behind the European Union, U.S., Brazil, and China.

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