Canadian Women-only Business Mission to Taiwan and Vietnam

Part of the Foundation’s 2023-2025 mission series, Northeast X Southeast: Advancing Partnerships Between Canada and Asia


APF Canada, with strong support from the public and private sectors, will lead Partnering for Sustainability: The Canadian Women-only Business Mission to Taiwan and Vietnam in Fall 2024. 

This mission is part of the Foundation’s 2023-2025 mission series, Northeast X Southeast: Advancing Partnerships Between Canada and Asia, and will focus on the technology and innovation sectors to spotlight the ideas and solutions that Canadian women entrepreneurs bring to the global economy. The eighth mission in APF Canada’s Women’s Business Missions to Asia Series, this unique opportunity brings together Canadian women entrepreneurs with businesses in Taiwan and Vietnam to promote gender-inclusive trade, support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and catalyze international partnerships between Canadian companies and these key markets in Asia.

The Canadian Women-only Business Mission to Taiwan and Vietnam is generously supported by contributions from the Government of Canada through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.


DEADLINE: July 26, 2024

Mission Details
Mission Details


WHERE: Taiwan and Vietnam

FORMAT: In-person

THEME: Partnering for Sustainability 

WHAT: The mission will feature public conferences with high-level speakers from Canada, Taiwan, and Vietnam to discuss bilateral trade issues, gender inclusion in the economy with the goal of women’s economic advancement, and SME supports. The delegates will participate in personalized business-to-business (B2B) matchmaking, company pitches, and networking opportunities with conference attendees.

WHEN: November 17 to 24, 2024

WHO:  We encourage all women and non-binary entrepreneurs whose businesses align with the targeted sectors of this mission to apply. We especially welcome applicants from traditionally under-represented groups, such as (but not limited to) members of racialized and Indigenous communities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ folks, newcomers to Canada, and young entrepreneurs. Due to the limited delegate spots available, the selection process is competitive, and not all eligible applications can be accepted. Priority will be given to applicants who have not participated in previous women-only business missions led by APF Canada. Past participants are eligible to apply to the business mission; however, they may be asked to cover their own accommodations and airfare, at the discretion of APF Canada based on previous support. 

Why Taiwan and Vietnam?

Taiwan and Vietnam present ideal market opportunities for Canadian businesses, particularly in the technology and innovation sectors. Both markets have strategically prioritized these industries in their economic strategies and offer attractive incentives to foster growth and collaboration. 

While Taiwan has an established high-tech manufacturing ecosystem, Vietnam is an emerging economy aiming to move up the manufacturing value chain. By capitalizing on these complementary markets, Canadian companies can establish a strong foothold and tap into the potential for long-term success and mutually beneficial partnerships in the Indo-Pacific.

Taiwan is an attractive market for Canadian companies due to its C$1-trillion economy. With an export-dependent economy of 23.5 million people and a highly skilled workforce, Taiwan is at the centre of global and regional high-technology supply chains due to its robust semiconductors, 5G telecommunications, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturing industries. On December 22, 2023, Taipei and Ottawa signed a foreign investment promotion and protection arrangement (FIPA) to help protect and promote bilateral investments between the two economies. 

In 2023, bilateral trade between Canada and Taiwan amounted to C$10.1 billion, while the bilateral services trade reached C$1.9 billion. Taiwan’s top exports to Canada in 2022 were electronic equipment, semiconductors and other electronic components, and mechanical equipment; its main imports from Canada were petroleum products, automobile parts, and mineral ores. Top sectors for service exports include transport, travel, research and development services, financial services, and intellectual property. In 2022, Canada-Taiwan bilateral investment stood at C$602 million.

Information communication technology, precision health, and green and renewable energy are among Taiwan’s six core strategic sectors identified by the Taiwan National Development Council’s (NDC) 2030 strategy. Rigorous intellectual protection laws, world-class digital infrastructure, and government-led initiatives like Taiwan Tech Arena and Startup Island propel Taiwan’s innovation-driven startup ecosystem. Simultaneously, skilled immigration programs like the employment gold card and entrepreneur visa, complemented by the presence of global tech manufacturing giants like Foxconn, Asus, and TSMC, are ensuring a steady supply of global talent into the economy. Improving pharmaceutical efficacy, facilitating early diagnosis, and providing personalized care leveraging big data analysis of genetic and clinical information are critical aspects of Taiwan’s dynamic digital health-care ecosystem. Taiwan aims to build a renewable energy industrial zone and forge R&D collaborations to develop efficient energy systems and decarbonization pathways. In January 2023, Taiwan passed its Climate Change Response Act, codifying its commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Followed by the NDC’s C$38-billion investment announcement, the island has made significant strides in renewable energy generation and carbon capture technology development. Recently published legislation, including the mandate for renewable energy usage in newly built, expanded, or altered buildings and structures, is expected to facilitate Taiwan’s cleantech industry’s growth.

Vietnam’s strong domestic consumption base and thriving export-oriented manufacturing sector offer significant opportunities for Canadian companies. The C$571-billion economy, home to 95 million people, has become integral to important global supply chains due to its skilled workforce and strategic geopolitical position (2022). 

In 2023, bilateral trade between Canada and Vietnam amounted to C$14.1 billion. Vietnam’s key exports to Canada included electronics and apparel, while Canada primarily exported agricultural and agri-food products to Vietnam. Furthermore, bilateral investment between Canada and Vietnam amounted to C$1.8 billion in 2022. As a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Vietnam already has a free trade agreement with Canada. Anticipated growth in Canada’s merchandise and services trade with Vietnam is expected upon completion of ASEAN-Canada FTA negotiations, encompassing Vietnam. 

Due to Vietnam’s rapidly growing middle class and aging population, coupled with the decline in birth rate, demand for high-quality health-care services and products is rising. Recognizing health care as a priority sector, the Vietnamese government has initiated measures to facilitate the import of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. Vietnam’s high-tech manufacturing industry is an emerging regional hub, fuelled by recent investments in semiconductors and smartphone production and R&D from Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, and LG. The government’s National Digital Transformation Program, targeting a boost in ICT adoption in key sectors including banking, energy, and health care by 2030, is expected to promote the growth of the ICT market. Vietnam, one of the world’s most susceptible countries to the impacts of climate change affecting its water, air, and soil, is actively seeking environmental technology solutions while ensuring it meets the 2025 net-zero emissions target.

Vietnam’s startup ecosystem is growing, driven by various government support programs, including SpeedUP, Startupcity platform, Vietnam-Finland Innovation Partnership Program, Saigon Silicon City Center, and the National Technology Innovation Fund. Vietnam also offers tax incentives to attract foreign investors and companies to further promote the growth of its thriving startup ecosystem.

  • To mutually showcase technology innovations from Canada, Taiwan, and Vietnam
  • To provide networking opportunities for Canadian women in business with counterparts in Taiwan and Vietnam
  • To provide an opportunity to share insights and best practices on women’s economic advancement 
  • To facilitate business partnerships between Canadian delegates and their Taiwanese and Vietnamese counterparts

Individualized B2B matching, curated networking, and promotional opportunities. There is no fee to participate as a delegate. This program is generously funded by the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund.

Expenses covered by the program:

  • Round-trip economy class airfare to/from Asia, with travel between Taiwan and Vietnam as required
  • Airport tax and facility fees
  • Accommodation, ground transportation between official program events and locations, and meals during the official program in Taiwan and Vietnam
  • Admission fees for scheduled activities in Taiwan and Vietnam that are part of the official program

The following expenses are not covered by the program:

  • Travel between the participant’s home and the designated airport of origin, and any excess baggage fees incurred during the program
  • Overseas travel insurance — participants are responsible for their own medical expenses in Taiwan and Vietnam 
  • Loss or damage to personal belongings
  • Travel upgrades or extensions to the official program

Please note: Participants are responsible for all personal expenses, including a passport valid for six months prior to departure, travel vaccinations, travel to/from the designated Canadian airport, accommodation and meals in Canada, and purchase of personal items/souvenirs prior to or during the program.


Successful applicants will be required to participate in all components of the mission, including:

  • Pre-mission training meeting(s)
  • All scheduled B2B meetings
  • All official program events as scheduled by the organizer
Selection Criteria

Eligible applicants must operate:

•    A for-profit organization such as:

  • An individually operated business
  • A partnership
  • A social enterprise
  • An incorporated company, corporation, co-operative, or
  • An Indigenous organization

•    A women-owned and/or women-led business*

•   A small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) with fewer than 500 employees, and

•    A business in operation for a minimum of two years

Eligible businesses must:

  • Be export-ready and have demonstrated potential to succeed in Asian markets
  • Have a commercialized product or service or one close to being commercialized
  • Have conducted research on foreign markets and opportunities, especially preparatory work concerning the Taiwan and Vietnam markets
  • Have allocated resources (human, material, time, and financial) toward internationalization
  • Have a defined business model and financial forecasts (1-2 years) for discussions with potential third-party investors

The following are ineligible:

  • Not-for-profit organizations, and
  • Government entities

Priority will be given to entrepreneurs who:

  • Have generated revenues (sales, capital investment, etc.) exceeding C$100,000 per year for the past three years
  • Have made efforts to localize their product or service for an international market (not necessarily in Asia)
  • Have developed proprietary technology with the potential for long-term competitiveness
  • Are defining their primary product/market fit and establishing reasonable pricing models with a sales strategy/pipeline
  • Have not participated in previous women-only business mission series led by APF Canada

* For the purposes of this program, please note:

  • “Women” is inclusive of those who self-identify as women (including ciswomen or transwomen) or gender non-binary, gender-fluid, or gender nonconforming people. “Ciswomen” refers to someone whose gender corresponds to their assigned sex.
  • “Women-owned” is defined as an enterprise where one or more women own and have owned the majority of the company (more than 50%) for at least two years.
  • “Women-led” indicates an enterprise with at least one woman founder or co-founder in an executive leadership position who, for at least two years, has ownership in the company and has been in a position to control and manage the operation and daily business of the entity and plays an active role in strategic decision making. “Active role in strategic decision making” indicates said woman is involved in decision-making relating to the establishment of priorities, objectives, and goals for the overall operations of the business. 

For mission inquiries, please contact:

A.W. Lee, PhD
Director, Inclusive International Trade, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Central Canada Office
205-375 University Ave.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2J5

The Women's Trade Missions are made possible with contributions from:

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