Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Supports Phase II Expansion of APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership

VANCOUVER, BC – July 28, 2020 – The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is pleased to announce its support of the Phase II expansion of the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership with the Government of Canada.

This partnership, in which APF Canada has collaborated with the Government of Canada and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat since 2016, has helped innovative entrepreneurs start up and scale up their businesses and access resources and connections in APEC developing economies with a focus on sustainable inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

Canada’s intention to move forward with Phase II of the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership was announced July 24 by the Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, during her participation in the first-ever virtual APEC trade ministers meeting to discuss strengthening rules-based trade and upholding stable and predictable global supply chains.

Phase II would help small businesses by reducing barriers to trade, giving back to their communities, and building economies that work for everyone – including women.

“As a founding member of APEC, Canada has long recognized the importance of working in partnership with the dynamic and fast-growing economies of the Asia Pacific, and transforming the region through entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Stewart Beck, President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. “Through its in-country research, toolkits, training, and mentorship, the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership has positively impacted the lives of entrepreneurs and MSMEs – particularly women and youth – in Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Peru. We look forward to collaborating on Phase II of this project, and the exciting opportunities for wider and deeper engagement with APEC economies that it will present.”

During the APEC trade ministers meeting, Minister Ng and her Asia Pacific counterparts also signed onto a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to work together toward a path of inclusive, sustainable, and quick economic recovery for citizens and small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quick facts

•    The APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership website has accumulated more than 12,000 website users with more than 220,000 page views. Users come from all across the APEC region. The website is the main hub for the project’s capacity-building resources, including reports and toolkits, on topics ranging from finance to innovation.
•    The Partnership has organized eight training sessions and policy workshops that attracted 990 attendees, and equipped MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs in APEC developing economies with the knowledge and tools required to help grow their businesses sustainably.
•    75% of event attendees said they found the website and online toolkit either useful, very useful, or extremely useful.
•    The Partnership contracted the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to connect 15 MSME mentees from each of the four focus economies with Canadian MSME champions. This was a particularly impactful component of the Partnership, with 86% of mentees reporting an increase in business to consumer sales during their time in the program, and 67% of mentees directly attributing their business revenue growth to the program.

Associated links

APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership
Statement on joint collaboration by APEC members amid COVID-19 pandemic
Canada and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation


Michael Roberts
Communications Manager, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

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