Schulich roundtable explores opportunities for Canadian business in Southeast Asian financial services markets

York University’s Schulich School of Business and the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy will co-host an international roundtable to discuss timely opportunities for Canadian businesses wishing to expand into financial services markets throughout Southeast Asia.

The roundtable, “Canada and Southeast Asia: The Opportunity in the Financial Sector,” will run from 8:30am to 4pm on March 30 in the Seymour Schulich building at York University.

Business leaders, academics and government policy makers will meet to share their experiences, increase their knowledge of risks and opportunities in Southeast Asia, and directly contribute toward better government policy by informing government decision makers what “getting public policy right” for Canada’s opportunities in the financial sector in Southeast Asia looks like.

Emerging markets are becoming increasingly attractive areas for the export of Canadian financial services, and Southeast Asia, with a population of over 600 million and a growing middle class, is one of the most promising regions globally for the provision of these services. It is the second fastest growing economy in Asia, after China.

“This conference could not be more timely as Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are currently preparing terms of reference for a feasibility study on the merits of a free trade agreement,” said Lorna Wright, executive director of Schulich’s Centre for Global Enterprise, associate professor of International Business and Organization Studies and Export Development Canada Professor in International Business. “The time has never been better for Canadian businesses wishing to break into ASEAN markets, including within the financial sector. The fact that just the ASEAN middle class alone is almost double the size of the total Canadian population means there are tremendous opportunities.”

Ambassador Marie-Louise Hannan, Canada’s first dedicated ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will be the keynote speaker at the conference. Other featured speakers include: Mari Pangestu, former Indonesian Minister of Trade and Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Professor of International Economics at University of Indonesia and Senior Fellow at the Indonesian Center for Strategic and International Studies; Supachai Panitchpakdi, former Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, former Secretary-General of the World Trade Organization, past President of the Thai Military Bank and former Deputy Minister of Finance and former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand; Jean Charest, PC, Honorary Chairman, Canada-ASEAN Business Council, and partner, McCarthy-Tétrault; and Manfred von Nostitz, director, Dragonfly Fintech, former Canadian ambassador to Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar and High Commissioner to Brunei and Malaysia.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed in 1967 to represent the interests of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, and now also includes Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. ASEAN member countries border India, China, Bangladesh, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea, and share maritime borders with India, China, Palau and Australia.

To attend the March 30 Canada and Southeast Asia Conference, visit