Inaugural Canada-in-Asia Conference Concludes on High Note in Singapore

Signature event for Canada-connected individuals, businesses, and institutions across Asia held in Singapore Feb. 21-23, 2023

SINGAPOREFebruary 24, 2023 – The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) and Universities Canada concluded a successful Canada-in-Asia Conference (CIAC2023) in Singapore on February 23, 2023. This first-of-its-kind event gathered Canada-connected individuals and organizations from across Asia to catalyze a new phase of Canada-Asia engagement.

Over two days at the Fairmont Singapore’s Raffles City Convention Centre, more than 585 attendees – including 330 from 17 economies across the Asia Pacific and over 400 Canadian university alumni – discussed the next phase in Canada’s engagement with Asia, a dynamic and growing region currently home to 55 per cent of the world’s population and responsible for 45 per cent of global consumption. Looking at Asia’s growth projections for the next decade underscores the importance and urgency for Canada to diversify and solidify its presence in a region that has become the world’s centre of economic and geopolitical gravity.

As the Government of Canada begins to action a new Indo-Pacific Strategy with funding initiatives and long-term commitments in the region of unprecedented scale and scope, CIAC2023 arrived in Singapore at an opportune time in Canada-Asia relations. The event gathered Asia-based alumni of Canadian universities alongside key leaders from business, government, and universities in Canada, Singapore, and across Asia around themes including enhancing trade and investment, food security, clean energy transition, building equitable and inclusive societies, higher education, and tackling climate change. Panellists included university presidents, thought-leaders, and industry changemakers from Canada and Asia who deeply engaged with the session themes providing unique perspectives from their varied institutional and personal backgrounds.

The first CIAC program combined keynote and interdisciplinary plenary sessions, high-level thematic panel discussions, strategic networking opportunities, and an evening gala. Featured speakers at CIAC2023 included federal and provincial ministers, heads of major corporations and organizations, Canadian Nobel Laureate Dr. Donna Strickland, global strategy advisor and bestselling author Parag Khanna, and the renowned international architect Moshe Safdie. The keynote session showcased the important work being done at Canadian, Singaporean, and regional post-secondary institutions, industries, and financial institutions ­– including multi-national partnerships, collaboration agreements, and joint initiatives.

“We established the Canada-in-Asia Conference to build networks that would inform and facilitate collaboration between partners across and within Canada and Asia,” said Jeff Nankivell, President and CEO, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. “While much of our discussion at CIAC2023 touched on geopolitical risks and challenges, what I heard over the past two days was consensus on a positive agenda for broader and deeper Canadian engagement in the region.”

“The inaugural Canada-in-Asia Conference was an enormous success,” said Paul Davidson, President of Universities Canada. “Great conversations took place, and many new connections were formed amongst global leaders and Canadian university alumni in Asia. I am optimistic that this conference will springboard us into a new era of Canada-Asia engagement – one where we combine our strengths and work together to solve the world’s toughest problems.”

The Canada-in-Asia Conference is presented with the assistance of the Government of Canada. APF Canada and Universities Canada are grateful for this support. We would also like to thank our Major Partners, Sun Life, Invest in Canada, Export Development Canada, and Royal Bank of Canada; our Supporting Partners, Gouvernement du Québec & Investissement Québec; and our Associate Partners, BMO, Bombardier, CIBC, Government of Saskatchewan, Invest Alberta, McMillan LLP, Fasken, Gowling WLG, McCarthy Tétrault; and our Official Airline Partner, Air Canada.

The Canada-in-Asia Conference would also not be possible without our Gold University Partners, University of Waterloo, McGill University, University of Toronto, York University, University of British Columbia, Western University, and the University of Alberta; our Silver University Partners, The Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia, University of Ottawa, University of Saskatchewan, and University of Calgary; and our Bronze University Partner, SFU Alumni.

Key Links:

Conference Website
Photo Gallery
Universities Canada


Michael Roberts        
Communications Director
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Mobile: 604-649-4863

Universities Canada
Lisa Wallace
Assistant Director, Communications | Directeur adjoint Communications
Universities Canada | Universités Canada
Mobile: 343-999-7183


About the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada:

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is dedicated to strengthening ties between Canada and Asia with a focus on expanding economic relations through trade, investment and innovation; promoting Canada’s expertise in offering solutions to Asia’s climate change, energy, food security and natural resource management challenges; building Asia skills and competencies among Canadians, including young Canadians; and, improving Canadians’ general understanding of Asia and its growing global influence.

Visit APF Canada at

About Universities Canada:

Universities Canada is the voice of Canadian universities, at home and abroad. A membership organization providing university presidents with a unified voice for higher education, research, and innovation, Universities Canada advances the mission of its member institutions to transform lives, strengthen communities, and find solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our world. The organization advocates for Canadian universities at the federal level, provides a forum for university leaders to share ideas and address challenges in higher education, supports students by providing information on university study and offering scholarships on behalf of private sector companies, and fosters collaboration among universities and governments, the private sector, communities, and international partners.

Visit Universities Canada at