Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the reception hosted by Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng in Ottawa

Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the reception hosted by Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng in Ottawa

Minister Mary Ng


Distinguished guest


Ladies and Gentlemen


1. First, let me thank Minister Ng again for the wonderful hospitality in Ottawa, including your hosting of this reception.


a. This is my first visit to Ottawa as Minister for Trade and Industry, but hopefully not the last!


b. I have had good meetings today with government and business leaders.


c. There is great interest about Singapore in Canada, and much more we can do together.


2. Singapore and Canada have established a warm friendship based on mutual interests.


a. We have long-standing cooperation in areas like cybersecurity, infrastructure, education, technology and innovation, and defence, and people-to-people exchanges.


3. Our trade and investment ties reflect the gradual maturing of our economic links.


a. Singapore companies in Canada operate mainly in the financial and insurance sectors, manufacturing, as well as trade.


b. One example is Agrocorp, an agri-commodity trading and processing company. In 2009, it established its first office in Canada in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Since then, it has invested almost S$50 million and expanded to five cities.


c. There is also a growing Canadian presence in Singapore, with over 1,500 companies today. Many use Singapore as a launchpad to Southeast Asia and Asia.


d. For example, Bombardier Aerospace Services first set-up in Singapore in 2013. It has expanded its service centre to introduce new facilities for business jet operators in the region.


4. Singapore will continue to play our part as a safe and secure regional gateway for Canadian companies.


a. We are committed to a business-friendly environment, rule of law, and a highly skilled workforce.


5. Take AI as an example. Singapore is investing more than S$1bn –roughly the same in Canadian dollars – over the next five years into AI compute, talent, and industry development.


a. This will enhance our AI ecosystem that already offers best-in-class compute infrastructure, access to the region, and a diverse and capable talent pool.


b. The Singapore Government will ensure that we continue to be a digital economy hub with innovative firms, advanced and highly-connected digital infrastructure, and balanced and pragmatic regulation to promote the responsible use of AI.


6. Whether it is new sectors like AI, or existing cooperation in trade, I am confident that our close friendship gives us a firm foundation to build on for the future.


7. I look forward to working with all of you to do so.

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