This 11th edition of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s International Trade Day, Canada Meets the New Pacific, was a perfect venue for the business community, elected officials and government representatives to discuss the upcoming challenges and opportunities associated with Canada’s trade activities in the Pacific region. Canada has become much more economically active in the Pacific region recently, but there is still room to grow in these markets, according to the panellists and speakers.
Her Excellency Petronila P. Garcia, Ambassador of the Philippines to Canada, opened the day while the Hon. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, gave the opening keynote address. The Hon. Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development took part in an armchair discussion with the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Stewart Beck, President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and Benoit Daignault, President and CEO of Export Development Canada.
This was followed by a panel with such renowned speakers as Jon Somers, Vice President, Planning and Development, Canpotex; Jimmy Tobyne, Manager, Business Development, Alibaba; Jacques Demers, President & CEO, Demers Partners; Gary Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Colin McKay, Head, Public Policy and Government Relations, Google (Canada); Russell Williams, President and CEO, Rx&D and Candace Sider, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Canada, Livingston International Inc. The day ended with a keynote address from Brambles CEO Tom Gorman.
Over 100 business, policy and government leaders attended the event. Of all the information presented and discussed during the day, one element became very clear: Canada has to be present in the New Pacific and must be part of the discussions and agreements surrounding the economic development of this region.