September 2, 2021 – Toronto, ON – The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is excited to announce the opening of applications for two upcoming Canadian women-only business missions to Asia: Australia/New Zealand and India (Bengaluru).
In partnership with SheEO (Mission to Australia/New Zealand) and the Canada-India Business Council (C-IBC) (Mission to India), these missions will provide Canadian women-led or -owned companies with the opportunity to access key markets in the Asia Pacific. The missions will promote gender inclusive trade, support SMEs, and catalyze international partnerships between Canadian companies and foreign markets. APF Canada’s Women-only Business Mission Series (2019-2023) supports the Government of Canada’s dual efforts to promote international trade diversification and advance women’s economic empowerment by encouraging Canadian women in business to consider expansion into Asia’s dynamic economies.
Scheduled for November 29 to December 2, 2021, in partnership with the women business leaders’ entrepreneurial network SheEO, the First Canadian Women-only Virtual Business Mission to Australia and New Zealand will bring together Canadian women entrepreneurs with businesses from Australia and New Zealand with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and other sectors that are traditionally under-represented by women.
Australia’s and New Zealand’s dynamic domestic economies are positioned to make large strides when they begin re-opening to international visitors post-pandemic. With projected growth rates of more than five per cent for both economies in the coming year, there is ample opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs looking to grow their business through expansion, partnership, collaboration, or disruption. With the three countries sharing similar export and production profiles, APF Canada’s Women-only Virtual Business Mission to Australia and New Zealand, supported by international Indigenous professionals’ network INDIGI-X, is an opportunity for some of Canada’s newest and most innovative companies to strike out and succeed in growing markets based on key insights gained here at home.
Scheduled for early March 2022, in partnership with C-IBC, the First Canada Women-only Business Mission to India (Bengaluru) will bring together Canadian women entrepreneurs and businesses in India with a focus on education, green solutions, agri-tech, and health tech to spotlight the innovations Canadian women entrepreneurs bring to these sectors.
India, Canada’s 10th largest trading partner with C$8 billion in bilateral trade, is a growing economic powerhouse with solid fundamentals that position the country for unparalleled opportunities over the next two decades. The global pandemic has taken a tragic toll on India, but with public health indicators moving in the right direction, the Indian economy is projected to become the fastest-growing G20 economy in 2021 and expand by 8.1 per cent in the coming year. Bengaluru, the capital of India's southern Karnataka state, is an ideal city to host a mission focused on technology innovation. The city of 8.4 million is known as the ‘Silicon Valley of South Asia’ because of its role as India’s centre of high-tech industry and its clustering of technology companies’ headquarters.
The First Canadian Women-only Virtual Business Mission to Australia and New Zealand will be conducted as a virtual event. The First Canadian Women-only Business Mission to India (Bengaluru) is planned as an in-person event, with contingency plans to revert to a virtual or hybrid format based on the public health situation in March 2022.
A.W. Lee, PhD
Senior Program Manager
Diversity and Inclusive Growth Strategy for
Women Entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific
Michael Roberts, Communications Director,
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada