REGINA, SK, Dec. 3, 2022 /CNW/ - The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, met with agriculture stakeholders at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Saskatchewan, to discuss the Government of Canada's new Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS).
Minister Bibeau toured the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Saskatchewan on Saturday and held two roundtable discussions: one with the Canadian Cattle Association, and a second with several Canadian agriculture associations. They discussed the IPS, and the landmark announcement that comes with it: Canada's first ever Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office (IPAAO).
With $31.8 million earmarked in dedicated funding, this new office will enable Canada to engage with stakeholders, regulatory counterparts, and policy decision-makers to deepen partnerships with Indo-Pacific economies that value sustained, meaningful relationships, collaboration and the sharing of expertise.
Expanding our presence in the Indo-Pacific will help Canadian farmers, food processors and exporters maximize their opportunities and position Canada as a preferred supplier in key emerging markets. The Indo-Pacific encompasses more than 40 economies and is the fastest growing region in the world. It is Canada's second-largest regional export market and trading partner (after the United States), with $26.5 billion in annual two-way agri-food and seafood trade in 2021.
The new IPAAO will be well-positioned to help Canada expand trade, investment and supply chain resilience, one of five strategic objectives for Canada under the new Indo-Pacific Strategy, alongside promoting peace, resilience and security; investing in and connecting people; building a sustainable and green future; and ensuring Canada remains an active and engaged partner.
Every issue that matters to Canadians ? our national security, economic prosperity, democratic values, public health, the quality of our environment, human rights ? will be shaped by developments in this region, and the relationships Canada has with its Indo-Pacific partners. The IPS is a roadmap to deepen Canada's engagement in the Indo-Pacific over the next decade. Our commitments and contributions under this framework will bring benefits to a range of strategic sectors for Canada, including agriculture and agri-food, where regional demand is strong and growing.
"The Indo-Pacific Strategy is great news for Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. Opening a Canada Indo-Pacific office has long been a high-priority request from industry members and we will work with our partners to benefit from the opportunities this new initiative can bring. And with more than 1,250 guests from over 86 countries, Agribition is a fitting venue to kick off these discussions."
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"We look forward to expanding export opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region for our world-renowned, high-quality Canadian beef. "We are proud of our role in sustainably producing a nutritious protein source for tables at home and abroad."
- Ryan Beierbach, Canadian Cattle Association Director
"The Indo Pacific Strategy will open up new markets for agricultural exports, while allowing Canada to solidify its role as a global food supplier in a time of mounting global food insecurity. Measures like the Indo-Pacific Agricultural and Agri-Food Office are critical to making meaningful strides in markets around the world, by ensuring Canadian agriculture has a strategic presence in what is a critical market for Canadian producers."
- Todd Lewis, 2nd Vice President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture
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