The rise of Asia, led by China and India, is changing the global landscape. Asia's economic weight not only rivals North America and the EU, but is continuing to grow so rapidly that many analysts see an inevitable shift in global influence towards both China and India. Yuen Pau Woo joins us on October 30th to discuss Canada's opportunities in the Asia Pacific region, for example, how governments, business, and society can contribute to building stronger ties with Asian economies.
A recent poll by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and the Globe and Mail found that a majority of Canadians believe that in 20 years, Asia will be a more important trading partner than the United States. According to the same poll, Canadians are of the view that China today already holds more potential for trade and investment than the United States or Europe.
The impact of rising Asia can be felt from corporate boardrooms to constituency offices and from corner stores to shop floors. Businesses are eager to profit from Asian economic growth and also worried about the competitive threat of cheaper products from the region. Consumers enjoy the savings of lower cost imports yet fear job losses from the relocation of production to Asia. Canadians are attuned to the economic rise of Asia, but wonder what it means for them.
Is Canada ready to embrace a future in which Asia will play a much more important role? Will the Conservative government look beyond continental priorities to build new diplomatic and commercial bridges to Asia? Are Canadian firms prepared to do business across a vast ocean, under rapidly changing conditions? Most importantly, are Canadians ready to see this country as part of the Asia Pacific region and are they willing to invest in the skills, knowledge, and networks that will make Canada a credible and effective player in the region? We'll tackle all these questions and more on October 30th.
Mr. Woo was born in Malaysia and grew up in Singapore. He is on the board of the Standards Council of Canada and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council. He is also Senior Advisor to the Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Centre and Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia's Institute of Asian Research. Mr Woo was educated at Lester B. Pearson College, Wheaton College, the University of Cambridge, and the University of London. The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, based in Vancouver, is the leading think tank on relations with Asia.