Conversations with Canadian Leaders: Canada as an Asia Pacific Nation

Background

Economic growth and demographic trends across Asia present significant opportunities for Canada to expand and diversify its markets. While such developments also open up the possibility of collaboration beyond trade, Canada’s recent efforts to strengthen ties in the Asia Pacific region reflect the growing importance of emerging Asian economies.

According to the 2011 National Opinion Poll conducted by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada), many Canadians appear to be conflicted over Canada-Asia relations despite broad recognition of the increasing global influence of Asian economies. To engage Canadians in a constructive dialogue on Canada-Asia issues, APF Canada launched the National Conversation on Asia (NCA), which is a Canada-wide initiative focused on public education, policy development, and community outreach.

As part of the NCA, the Public Policy Forum engaged senior leaders across sectors in a high-level dialogue on Canada’s current and future role as an Asia Pacific nation. Given shifting global relations and the potential implications for our country, we sought to better understand how decision makers see Canada’s role in the Asia Pacific region and how perceptions influence their approach to Asia. We believe that sharing the views of Canadian leaders will help raise public awareness of Asia’s relevance to Canada and provide first hand insights on where the challenges and opportunities lie in the Asia Pacific region.