This week Ottawa announced that the Philippines will be the official location for the new Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office.

The office to be located in Manilla is a joint venture between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Canadian Cattle Association President Nathan Phinney says cattle producers are encouraged to see the progress in establishing the new office and look forward to seeing it enhance market access opportunities in the region.

“Following the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), we’ve seen the tremendous growth potential in the Indo-Pacific region for Canadian beef exports—we are excited for future export growth opportunities in the region.”

About 20 per cent of Canada’s beef exports are destined for the Indo-Pacific market, with the top five markets being Japan, Mainland China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.

The CCA notes the economies in the Indo-Pacific region with the highest beef export growth potential include Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The Vietnam market for Canadian beef has been growing fast from $8 million CDN in 2019 to $129 million CDN in 2022.

Meantime, Canadian beef exports to the Philippines grew from $5 million CDN in 2020 to $13 million CDN in 2022.

Canada says the new Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office will focus on advancing mutual trade objectives for the sector through a mobile team that will work directly with Canadian diplomatic missions, Canadian stakeholders, foreign interlocutors, and decision-makers.

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says the Philippines is an important partner under the Indo-Pacific Strategy. 

"Hosting this new Office is an opportunity to build on our economic relationship, and enrich people-to-people ties. Our Government will continue to help Canadian farmers, food processors, and exporters maximize their opportunities, and diversify their markets in the world’s fastest-growing economic zone."

In 2022, Canada’s agriculture and agri-food exports to the Indo-Pacific region totalled $21.8 billion. 

Stats show that our agriculture and agri-food exports to the region increased by nearly 7% from 2018 to 2022, while our imports from the region have grown by nearly 9%.

Global agrifood and seafood imports into ASEAN markets have increased by 177% from 2012 to 2022 (from CA$72 billion to CA$200 billion).

Canada has trade agreements in force 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).