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 (APF 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, with a secondary office in Toronto, Ontario, APF Canada functions as a knowledge broker, providing current and comprehensive research, analysis and information on Canada's transpacific relations. The Foundation promotes dialogue on economic, security, political and social issues, fostering informed decision-making in the Canadian public, private and non-governmental sectors. APF Canada also provides grants to support policy research and informed discussion on Canada’s relations with Asia.

History of the Foundation[edit]

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada 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. Mr. 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 which it now draws much of its funding, in addition to private and corporate donations.[5]

Mandate[edit]

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is a not-for-profit organization focused on Canada's relations with Asia. Its mission is to be Canada's catalyst for engagement with Asia and Asia’s bridge to Canada. A leader in research and analysis on Canada-Asia relations for over 30 years, APF Canada partners with government, business leaders, academics, and opinion makers in Canada and across the Asia Pacific region to offer clear, specific, and actionable policy advice.

APF Canada's thematic priorities include: promoting trade, investment, and innovation; mobilizing energy assets; building skills and competencies; and, understanding Asia now.

Governance[edit]

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 India.[6]

Affiliations[edit]

  • 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]

Publications[edit]

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); and Op-Eds (informed commentary on current affairs in Asia and Canada-Asia relations). The Foundation also conducts surveys, including the National Opinion Poll (a nationwide poll on various aspects of Canadian perceptions of Asia). All of the publications are available free through the Foundation's subscription service.

Themes[edit]

Currently, APF Canada is producing research and developing programs on the following themes:

• Promoting Trade, Investment, and Innovation: Encouraging two-way business and fostering linkages between innovation ecosystems in Canada and Asia.

• Mobilizing Energy Assets: Moving quickly and effectively to meet Asia's changing energy requirements and promoting cooperation between Canada and Asia on a range of issues related to energy and the environment.

• Building Skills and Competencies: Increasing and enhancing two-way flows of students and providing Canadians with the skills, knowledge, and experience to be successful in Asia.

• Understanding Asia Now: Providing timely information and analysis on significant developments in global affairs relevant to the Canada-Asia relationship.

In accordance with our themes, APF Canada engages in major projects of particular interest to Canada's relationship with Asia.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]