Minister MacAulay promotes Canada’s world-class products in Malaysia and the Philippines


Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

This week, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, visited Malaysia and the Philippines to strengthen regional partnerships and create new opportunities for our hardworking Canadian producers.

Minister MacAulay’s trade mission highlighted and built on the strong business and people-to-people ties between Canada and Indo-Pacific partners. Over the course of his visit, the Minister met with government counterparts and industry leaders to facilitate new and exciting opportunities.

In Kuala Lumpur, Minister MacAulay met with Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup to discuss how Canada can contribute to Malaysia’s food security goals, and how to leverage the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to benefit both countries.

The Minister also met with the Malaysia-Canada Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors to promote Canada’s world-class seafood, agriculture and agri-food products and to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing market access. Minister MacAulay led a roundtable discussion with Malaysian industry representatives on Malaysia’s ratification of the CPTPP, and efforts to enhance trade.

While in Manila, Minister MacAulay opened Canada’s first-ever Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office (IPAAO). The IPAAO will bolster regional ties, assist Canadian exporters in finding new business opportunities, and help position Canada as a preferred supplier in the region.

As part of his visit, the Minister met with the Philippines Secretary of Agriculture, Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. They discussed issues that are top of mind for both countries, including opportunities to enhance technical cooperation and two-way trade expansion.

In 2023, fish and seafood exports to the Indo-Pacific reached $2 billion. Minister MacAulay delivered remarks at the Atlantic Canada Seafood reception in Manila, co-hosted by the Lobster Council of Canada and the Atlantic provinces, to highlight the exciting opportunities that exist for Canadian seafood in the region.

Minister MacAulay also met with representatives from Universal Robina Corporation, Metro Retail Stores Group Inc, RAMCAR Food Group and Jollibee Foods Corporation, to explore broadening opportunities for cooperation, and several industry associations, including the Board of Directors of the Meat Importers and Traders Association and the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc, to seek insight on capacity-building operations, imports, and non-tariff barriers to trade.


“For the second time since returning to the Agriculture file in July, I was back in the Indo-Pacific to promote our high-quality, sustainably-produced products and grow our export markets. By keeping our presence in the region strong, including through our new Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office, we’re sending a clear message that Canada is here to stay, while opening new doors for our hardworking fishers, farmers and ranchers.”

–        The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“We look forward to working with our partners in the Indo-Pacific on common goals and challenges in the region, and enhancing trade and technical cooperation on both sides of the Pacific – through this exciting new office.”

–        Diedrah Kelly, Executive Director, Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office

Quick facts

  • The Indo-Pacific is likely to make up two-thirds of the middle class by 2030, and over half of global GDP by 2040.
  • Global agri-food and seafood imports into Association of Southeast Asian Nation markets have increased by 177% from 2012 to 2022 (from CA$72 billion to CA$200 billion).
  • Canada has trade agreements in place with several key markets in the Indo-Pacific region, including South Korea under the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), and with Australia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
  • Malaysia was Canada’s 26th largest agriculture and food export market globally and 12th largest in the Indo-Pacific region in 2023.
  • In 2023, the Philippines was Canada’s 14th largest agriculture and food export market globally and 7th largest in the Indo-Pacific region. During the 2019-2023 period, Canada was a net exporter for agriculture and food trade with the Philippines, recording a trade surplus of CA$445.0 million in 2023.
  • The IPAAO is a joint initiative by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and represents a $31.8 million Government of Canada investment.
  • The Canada Brand provides Canadian exporters with a stronger international presence by helping them leverage Canada’s positive reputation around the world. Export-ready companies can sign-up for free.


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