Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

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Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Established 1984
Location Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
President Stewart Beck
Website Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, created by an Act of Parliament in 1984,[1] is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank on Canada's relations with Asia.[2]

Based in Vancouver, the Foundation functions as a knowledge broker, bringing together people and knowledge to provide current and comprehensive research, analysis and information on Canada's transpacific relations. It promotes dialogue on economic, security, political and social issues, fostering informed decision-making in the Canadian public, private and non-governmental sectors. The Foundation also provides grants to support policy research and informed discussion on Canada’s relations with Asia.

History of the Foundation[edit]

The Foundation was created as part of the Canadian government’s growing interest in relations with Asia under the administrations of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Its inception in 1984 was led by the Department of External Affairs, and was specifically proposed by the director general of the Department’s Asian and Pacific bureau, Tom Delworth. At the time the Department was headed by Secretary of State for External Affairs Joe Clark. Soon after, Vancouver businessman John Bruk was commissioned by the Department to undertake a study of the proposal. His report was accepted and became the basis for the founding Act. Bruk became the founding Chairman. The founders aimed to create an independent source of thought on Canada’s trade, investment and political relations with Asia. This came amidst the growing perception of Canada as a Pacific country, compared with its relations being conducted primarily by the Eastern provinces across the Atlantic.[3] As a result it was mandated that the Foundation’s primary office should always be in Vancouver, British Columbia as to promote relations with Asia across the Pacific.[4] This idea was the premise for the creation of the Asia–Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, whose mission is to establish Canada’s Asia–Pacific Gateway and Corridor as the best transportation network facilitating global supply chains between North America and Asia.

The Foundation was initially funded on short-term plans or for specific projects with contributions from both the Federal and Provincial governments, as well as by corporate and private donors. In 2005 a founding supporter of the Foundation, Senator Jack Austin, led an initiative to award the Foundation a C$50 million endowment from the Government of Canada, from where it now draws much of its funding, in addition to private and corporate donations.[5]


The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada undertakes strategic research on Canada's economic, political and social relations with Asia-Pacific. The goal is to provide guidance on Asia Pacific topics for business and governments, and to enhance the links among the policy, business and research communities in areas relating to Canada's ties with Asia.


The affairs of the Foundation are managed by a Board of Directors. The Board consists of a Chairperson and up to six other directors appointed by the Governor in Council; up to 18 additional directors appointed by the Board after consultation with provincial governments and other interested outside parties; and the President of the Foundation. The Chairperson and each of the Board members is appointed for a term of three years, and may serve a maximum of three terms. The Board, which has ultimate responsibility for the Foundation’s activities, meets at least twice a year. It is responsible for setting the strategic directions of the Foundation, management of the endowment fund, and appointment of the President.

Stewart Beck is the current President and CEO. Prior to joining the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Mr. Beck was the Canadian High Commissioner to the Republic of India.[6]


  • Canada participates in the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) through the Canadian Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation (CANCPEC), which is administered by the Foundation.[7]
  • The Foundation serves as the secretariat for Canada's APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) members, providing research, analysis, and administrative support.[8]
  • The Foundation is the APEC Study Centre for Canada, a role the Foundation was given by the Government of Canada in 1995. As the Study Centre, the Foundation produces research papers and commentary on priority issues for Canada’s involvement in APEC.[9]
  • In September 2011, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) and the Canada West Foundation established the Canada-Asia Energy Futures Task Force with Kathleen (Kathy) E. Sendall, C.M., FCAE,[a] a former Governor and Board Chair of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and Kevin G. Lynch, a Canadian economist and former Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, Canada's most senior civil servant as co-chairs, to investigate a long-term Canada-Asia energy relationship. One of their recommendations was the creation of a public energy transportation corridor.[10]


The Foundation undertakes research and analysis on Canada-Asia relationships and publishes the results on its website. Electronic publications are available free of charge and include: a daily Canada-Asia News Service (a summary of stories involving Canada-Asia business and government relations and links to the main headlines from Asia); Canada Asia Agenda (a concise analysis of issues in Canada's involvement with a major Asia Pacific partner or major regional industry); Research Reports (research on areas of Canada’s involvement with Asia undertaken by Canadian scholars); Asian Business Cases (studies offering executives and researchers insights into the way major companies solve problems and overcome obstacles in their Asian operations, taken from the portfolio of case studies in the archive of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario); and Investment Monitor(a summary of new Canadian investments in Asia and Asian investments in Canada). The Foundation also conducts surveys, including the National Opinion Poll (an nationwide poll on various aspects of Canadian perceptions of Asia) ; and the Points of View Asia Pacific Poll (an opinion poll of Canadians engaged in Asia through professional, research or personal interests.) All of the publications are available through the Foundation's subscription service.

The Foundation focuses on my aspects of the Canada-Asia relationship including trade, human rights, two-way investment and more. The Foundation's work covers all of Asia–Pacific with an especially strong focus on Canada-China relations and Canada-India relations.

The Foundation also operates a video channel, Asia Pacific Video [1]. The channel regularly features Foundation staff and outside experts discussing relevant topics in Canada-Asia relations. Past videos have featured Joe Clark, Joseph Caron, Jim O'Neill, Richard Woolcott and Louise Fréchette.

Special Projects[edit]

The Foundation’s Research Grants Program is funded through the proceeds of an endowment established by the Government of Canada and is designed to support research and informed discussion on Canada’s relations with Asia. As part of its Grants Program, the Foundation also awards several Media Fellowships to Canadian journalists each year.

The current Senior Fellows for the Foundation are Joseph Wong, Yves Tiberghien, Brian Job, Pitman Potter, Ito Peng, Henry Wang, Yuezi Zhao, David Zwieg, and Hank Bull.

The current Distinguished Fellows for the Foundation are Stockwell Day, Len Edwards, Joseph Caron, David Emerson, David Mulroney and Donald W. Campbell.

In April 2011 the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada launched a new project entitled the National Conversation on Asia (NCA). The NCA is a broad and inclusive initiative that aims to get Canadians thinking and talking about what Asia means to Canada. It is supported by Asia-engaged individuals, companies and organizations across Canada. The project features an Emerging Voices on Asia blog, online conversations, an interactive map project, Asia Contemporary Speaker Series on contemporary Asian art, Three Questions series, community events and other outreach and engagement activities. The NCA has also produced five task force reports.

Through a program of stakeholder consultations, research and public communications, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is seeking to advance dialogue on Canada's Asia Pacific Gateway, identifying policy priorities for governments and measures to strengthen the competitiveness of Canadian businesses and contribute to sustainable gateway communities.

Launched in 2012, the Canada-China Human Capital Dialogue is a research partnership between think-tanks of the two countries on the opportunities and challenges of managing and capitalizing talent flows between Canada and China.


  1. ^ Kathleen Sendall, is director CGG (Paris, France), Director of Enmax Corporation (Calgary, AB); Vice Chair, Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions (Calgary, AB); Co-Chair, Canada West/Asia Pacific Foundation Task Force (Calgary, AB)." In 2013 Prime Minister Harper appointed her the Sustainable Development Advisory Council (SDAC) and the Advisory Council for Promoting Women on Boards. She advises "federal and provincial governments in the areas of climate change, carbon capture and storage, environmental legislation, and Arctic foreign policy, and recently chaired the Canadian Council of Academies Assessment Panel on the State of Industrial R&D in Canada. Previously, Ms. Sendall led Petro-Canada's North American Natural Gas Business Unit."Kathleen Sendall Biography


External links[edit]