Malaysia and Canada discuss trade and entreprenuership opportunities

29 Jun 2023

PARIS: Malaysia and Canada held a bilateral meeting on Wednesday to explore ways to strengthen their economic ties and cooperation in various sectors.

The meeting was led by Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Ewon Benefick and Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.

Among the matters discussed were Canada’s interest to be part of ASEAN partner country, Malaysia’s support for ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement and Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and potential collaboration in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) development, franchise, cooperative and environmental, social and governance (ESG) sectors.

“Canada expressed appreciation to Malaysia on its support for Canada to be part of ASEAN partner country and wish to further strengthen bilateral relationship with Malaysia,” said Ewon.

He said the country informed that they will be establishing its Trade Mission Office in the Philippines to strengthen cooperation with the South East Asian countries including Malaysia.

“Canada also expressed appreciation for Malaysia’s support and commitment to ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement and CPTPP,” he added.

According to Ewon, Malaysia expressed interest to work closely with Canada in the areas of entrepreneurship, especially in market access and high growth sectors such as halal, electrical and electronic (E&E), medical devices, machinery and equipment and biotechnology.

“We also proposed to collaborate on ESG adoption and compliance among MSMEs, business export programme and business matching, franchise development programme as well as cooperative development,” he said.

Ewon stated that Canada agreed to work with Malaysia in MSME development and mentioned semiconductors as one of the industries that the country is very interested to develop with Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Canada also requested Malaysia to identify specific ESG elements that Malaysia wish to work with Canada.

“At the same time , Canada also supported Malaysia’s suggestion to collaborate in the area of franchise development and cooperative sector,” he added.

Both sides expressed their commitment to continue the dialogue and follow up on the areas of cooperation discussed during the meeting.


  1. Ewon shaking hands with Arif after the meeting.
  2. Ewon together with SME Corp CEO Rizal Nainy and Bank Rakyat CEO Dr. Mohammad Hanis Osman holding a discussion with Arif, representing Canada.

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