The West wants in the Indo-Pacific

Carlo Dade, Director, Trade & Investment Centre and Sharon Zhengyang Sun, Trade Policy Economist, Canada West Foundation
December 2022
Read the brief

The federal government’s recently-released long-awaited Indo-Pacific Strategy will have more impact on the West compared to the rest of Canada. One thing clear from the relatively brief strategy and confusion in the federal government’s communication about it, there is still a window to help the government add detail to how the strategy will be implemented. A proactive response from western Canadian governments, businesses and others involved in trade is needed now before the window closes.

Why it matters to the West

The Prairies are the most export-dependent region of Canada with exports accounting for just under a third of the region’s GDP. The largest export destination for the Prairies is the U.S., followed by Indo-Pacific countries. The figure below shows flows to the 14 key Indo-Pacific markets by Western Canada exceeded those of the rest of Canada by more than $20 billion in 2020.

What Now?

There is a need for western provinces along with producer and export associations to develop a response to the strategy. Collaboration between stakeholders will avoid duplication of effort and expenditure. And importantly, working together will provide a stronger voice to advocate for the West.

The West wants in the Indo-Pacific focuses on details of the strategy, why trade with the Indo-Pacific is important to the region, and offers ideas on a move-forward action plan to shape what is included in the federal strategy.