Canada's Asia Pacific Gateway is a burgeoning national strategy that is responding to the rise of Asian economies and the challenges and opportunities Asia now poses for Canada. The strategy provides a framework for policies, investments, and initiatives that seeks to make Canada the most competitive exit and entry point in North America for Asian and Canadian goods, services, and investment. By maximizing Canada's strategic geographic location, as well as other natural advantages such as human and cultural linkages, the Asia Pacific Gateway will make Canada the gateway between North America and Asia for business, trade and investment, and even cultural exchange.
The Asia Pacific Gateway consists of several strategies at the federal, provincial, and regional levels. The concept of Canada as a Gateway between Asia and North America is not new: 'Pacific Gateway' initiatives have been developed at several levels of government in the last 30 years. More recently, the Pacific Gateway Act (Bill C-68) was proposed by the Martin government in 2005 to include $590M to be invested in transportation infrastructure. This was modified by the Harper government and announced as the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) one year later in October 2006. The APGCI commits $591M to be invested primarily in various transportation infrastructure developments and upgrades. In early 2007, the federal government increased its investment in APGCI to $1B and committed $2.1B to a national fund for infrastructure for gateways and border crossings.
Meanwhile, in January 2006, the province of British Columbia launched its own $3 billion Gateway Program for major infrastructure projects. The province also produced studies on enhancing the strategy and infrastructure related to the Pacific Gateway. These efforts complement the establishment of the Asia Pacific Trade Council which acts as an advisory committee to the Premier on capturing opportunities in the Asia Pacific. These initiatives extend beyond transportation infrastructure to include cultural and educational initiatives. On the other side of the country, the province of Nova Scotia is promoting an Atlantic Gateway concept that seeks to boost the position of Halifax and upcoming regional ports as preferred points of entry and exit for goods between Asia and North America. The Atlantic Gateway seeks to take advantage of capacity constraints at both West Coast ports in North America and ports in the US Northeast, as well as India trade through the Suez Canal.