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Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Canada will provide over $13 million to support progressive trade in Southeast Asia

Friday, August 05, 2016 > 09:25:51

(Government of Canada)

Canada will provide over $13 million to support progressive trade in Southeast Asia

August 4, 2016 - Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, today announced that as part of its progressive trade agenda, Canada will provide over $13 million toward projects to help the most vulnerable workers in Southeast Asia become more successful in business.

In partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada will support research, training and capacity building to help the governments of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states put small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)-friendly policies and programs in place and help to identify opportunities to integrate SMEs into global value chains. Canada’s International Development Research Centre will also support research into improving ASEAN’s participation in global value chains. These initiatives aim to provide policy makers and other relevant stakeholders with the knowledge, training, tools and resources they need to ensure SMEs, particularly women-run SMEs, are competitive, resilient and able to access international markets.


“A prosperous and progressive society is built on strong and inclusive growth, and Canada proudly supports small and medium-sized enterprises across the ASEAN region to ensure international trade has a positive impact on economic growth and standards of living. Through Canada’s progressive trade agenda, we are working to ensure that these benefits are enjoyed and recognized by all segments of society around the world.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of International Trade

“ASEAN countries promote their SME sector with a range of SME support policies. Knowing what works—and what doesn’t—in SME policies is crucial for policy makers—be it on a national or on a regional ASEAN level. Canada’s contribution to the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme will enhance the knowledge of ASEAN SME policy makers of international good practices to improve SME policies in Southeast Asia.”

- Andreas Schaal, Director, Global Relations, OECD

“Our project will support low-skilled workers in the ASEAN region, many of whom are women, who are often confined to low-wage, low-productivity jobs and have limited access to land ownership, credit and training. The International Development Research Centre is proud to support this important initiative.”

- Jean Lebel, President, IDRC

Quick facts

The ASEAN region has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and had a collective GDP estimated at over $3.1 trillion in 2015.

With its 10 countries taken as a group, the ASEAN region is Canada’s sixth-largest merchandise trading partner. In 2015, the value of bilateral merchandise trade reached $21.4 billion.

SMEs account for more than 96 percent of all enterprises and for between 50 and 95 percent of employment in many ASEAN member states.

Related products

Backgrounder - Canada-Association of Southeast Asian Nations partnership projects

Associated links

Association of Southeast Asian Nations

2016-2020 ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action

International Development Research Centre - Asia

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Global Relations


Anne-Louise Chauvette

Director of Communications

Office of the Minister of International Trade


Media Relations Office

Global Affairs Canada



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