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Canadian investments in the Indo-Pacific and G20 priorities – Prime Minister of Canada

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Canada is announcing the following investments to strengthen its engagement in the Indo-Pacific region and in support of key areas of focus at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia.

Supporting sustainable infrastructure

Infrastructure Support (Indo-Pacific Strategy)

Funding: $750 million in paid-in capital for FinDev Canada

Canada will bring its development finance institution, FinDev Canada, to the Indo-Pacific region, to help support sustainable infrastructure needs. This will contribute to the availability of and access to essential services that improve lives, connect people, spur economic growth, and contribute to cleaner future. Canada’s approach will offer a transparent and inclusive development model that focuses on quality infrastructure and financial sustainability. Canada’s contribution will help reduce poverty, build climate resilience, advance gender equality, and promote the economic development of economies and communities to benefit everyone.

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Protecting the environment and fighting climate change

Nature-based Solutions for Climate-smart Livelihoods in Mangrove Landscapes in Indonesia

Funding: $20 million

Mangroves are one of the most productive and biologically complex ecosystems on earth and play a key role in supporting livelihoods in vulnerable coastal communities in Indonesia. This initiative will support the restoration of 33,000 hectares of degraded mangrove ecosystems and protect 5,000 hectares of intact mangroves in two of the country’s provinces– North and East Kalimantan – with a focus on storing carbon to help fight climate change. It will also promote the design and implementation of reforms to better incentivize the restoration and protection of mangrove ecosystems.

Flood Impacts, Carbon Pricing and Ecosystem Sustainability – FINCAPES

Funding: $15 million

In line with the environment and climate action priorities outlined in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, this project will support Indonesia’s efforts to scale-up its climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in key areas, in response to rising sea levels, environmental degradation, and biodiversity loss. It will support research to better inform and drive action toward strengthening flood adaptation and mitigation efforts, help protect and restore 300 hectares of mangroves and 500 hectares of peatlands, and support the strengthening of climate change policy frameworks through academic partnership, including the creation of a center of excellence for research and development on climate change policy.

Oceans for Prosperity funding

Funding: $10 million

This funding will support the Oceans for Prosperity initiative, which aims to improve the sustainable management of coral reef ecosystems and strengthen the resilience of local communities in Indonesia. Specifically, Canada’s contribution will help strengthen ecosystem-based and participative management of marine protected areas and coral reef fisheries, including by improving climate adaptation and mitigation measures. It will also facilitate the growth of micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises in marine protected areas by improving access to markets, information, and financial services, addressing gender disparities in natural resource management decision-making, and creating economic opportunities for local communities.

Enabling Blue Carbon in Indonesia

Funding: $3 million

Coastal and marine ecosystems, including mangroves, tidal marshes, and sea grasses, store more carbon – “blue carbon” – than forests on land. This project will help Indonesia restore its blue carbon ecosystems to better adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change and achieve its sustainable development goals. To this effect, this investment will support the full integration of blue carbon ecosystems into Indonesia’s national development and climate change strategies through technical assistance, training and capacity building, and knowledge sharing.

Protecting people’s health

Financial Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (Pandemic Fund)

Funding: $50 million

Canada is committing $50 million to the new Pandemic Fund – a key G20 initiative hosted by the World Bank – to address critical gaps in pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response at national, regional, and global levels. This will include funding for areas such as disease surveillance, laboratory systems, the health workforce, emergency communications and management, and community engagement.

CanGIVE – mRNA Hub – Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) – COVID-19 mRNA Technology Transfer and Manufacturing Hub Program

Funding: $15 million

Canada is allocating an additional $15 million in funding to the COVID-19 mRNA Technology Transfer and Manufacturing Hub program. This builds on $15 million in Canadian funding announced at the G20 Summit in 2021, as part of Canada’s commitment to addressing underlying barriers to equitable access of vaccines. Canada’s additional support will help advance the work of the hub for COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in South Africa, facilitate technology transfer, develop second-generation mRNA technology and an mRNA vaccine pipeline for COVID-19 and other diseases, and enhance the capacity of a network of manufacturing facilities in Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, and Bangladesh.

CanGIVE – mRNA hub – Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) – COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Manufacturing Platform

Funding: $15 million

Canada is allocating $15 million to strengthen vaccine production capacities in Latin America and the Caribbean to increase the manufacturing of quality-assured, safe, and effective COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. This initiative will also strengthen national regulatory systems and policies while increasing multi-country coordination across public and private sector partners.

Expanding trade

Memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Food Security and Agricultural Products and Services

In Bali, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and Indonesia’s Ministry of State Owned Enterprises signed a MOU outlining their commitment to work together to respond to food security challenges in Indonesia, including by promoting the export of Canadian potash, wheat, grains, soybeans, and other agricultural products.

MOU on Green Airport initiative

The Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Government of the Province of North Kalimantan signed a MOU outlining their commitment to work together to support the development of a new airport for freight and passenger traffic in Bulungan Regency, North Kalimantan Province. The Canadian Commercial Corporation will identify and work with private-sector Canadian exporters best positioned to deliver this project from a technical, managerial, and financial perspective.

Advancing peace and security

MoU on Counter Terrorism

The Government of Canada and the Government of Indonesia signed a MOU to support deeper cooperation on counter-terrorism through the establishment of a joint working group that will explore opportunities for training, information sharing, and joint approaches to incorporate gender equality and human rights into counter-terrorism policy.

Empowering women and girls

Build Back Equal, UN Women

Funding: $10 million

This initiative provides opportunities in the Eastern Caribbean to “build back equal” from the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that advances gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Build Back Equal will help increase women’s ability to participate in every sphere – in the economy, in education, and in public life – by addressing the unequal distribution of unpaid and domestic care work in communities and households, advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights through training, and ensuring care services are integrated in gender-responsive social protection systems.

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Todd Boehly's investment house in advanced talks to buy private credit firm – Financial Times

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway mulls major new investment in Canada

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Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett speaks during an interview with Liz Claman on Fox Business Network’s Countdown to the Closing Bell, on May 7, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.Nati Harnik/The Associated Press

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRK-A-N has set its sights on making a major new investment in Canada.

The U.S. conglomerate holding company, whose top shareholder is the 93-year-old billionaire, held its annual meeting on Saturday, live-streamed from a packed arena in Omaha, Neb.

Greg Abel, who is vice-chair of Hathaway’s non-insurance operations, is a Canadian who is widely seen to be Mr. Buffett’s successor in the executive suite and eventually become the company’s chair.

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Members of Berkshire’s leadership team are now mulling options for a new foray into Canada.

“When we see anything that’s suggesting an idea that’s of a size with interest here and meets other requirements, they don’t have any hesitancy about putting big money in Canada,” Mr. Buffett said during the meeting. “There are things we actually can do fairly well, where Canada could benefit from Berkshire’s participation.”

The Oracle of Omaha heaped praise on Canada. “We do not feel uncomfortable in any way, shape or form, putting our money into Canada,” Mr. Buffett said.

“We don’t have any mental blocks about that country. And of course, there’s a lot of countries we don’t understand at all. So Canada, it’s terrific when you’ve got a major economy – not the size of the U.S., but a major economy that you absolutely, you feel confident about operating there.”

Mr. Abel also serves as chair of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which includes existing Canadian assets.

Assets north of the border include Calgary-based Berkshire Hathaway Energy Canada, which operates 13,000 kilometres of transmission lines and 300 substations in Alberta through AltaLink.

“It goes across many of our operating entities and then, as Warren touched on, all the businesses that we have a piece of that we’re invested in are up in Canada. So the presence is significant,” Mr. Abel said during the meeting. “We’re always looking at making incremental investments there because it’s an environment we’re very comfortable with.”

Mr. Abel recently received the Canadian Business Leader Award in Edmonton from the University of Alberta, where he graduated with a bachelor of commerce in 1984. At the university, he had plans to major in finance but later switched to accounting.

While it has been four decades since he graduated from the Edmonton university, he still visits friends and family regularly in Alberta, and he continues to monitor the Canadian economy.

“I would say the economy moves very closely to the U.S. So the results we’re seeing out of our various businesses that report both the U.S. and Canadian operations aren’t drastically different,” Mr. Abel said. “On the energy side, for example, we make very substantial investments up there in Alberta. But again, it’s very consistent with how that economy is growing.”

He is the nephew of the late Sid Abel, a hockey Hall of Famer who played for the Detroit Red Wings.

 

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Canada-Taiwan investment agreement to boost economic ties – North Shore News

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Last year’s signing of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) is expected to bring Canada and Taiwan closer in economic partnerships, according to experts.

“FIPA is a landmark agreement between Taiwan and Canada,” said Angel Liu, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver.

“There are some bureaucracies, thresholds or some labour or environmental standards [issues] that, through FIPA, we can facilitate.”

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She was among a host of officials and experts from Taiwan speaking late last month at a World Trade Centre Vancouver event. The conference zeroed in on business opportunities in Taiwan and how Canadian companies can capitalize on investment opportunities there following the signing of FIPA this past December.

FIPA helps provide more relaxed investment procedures for businesses making investments in each other’s territory by streamlining the process or foreign regulations and reducing some burdens on the licensing or reviewing process, according to Liu.

The Taiwan government hopes that FIPA will help attract more investments from Canada and deliver the image of Taiwan as a welcoming market for foreign investors, she added.

“It is just the beginning because it takes time for both sides to digest and to get to know each other more.”

There is “huge space” for growth in trade volume and business partnerships between Canada and Taiwan, especially at a time when both countries are looking to reduce their economic reliance on China, according to Huai-Shing Yen, deputy executive director of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research.

Taiwan was Canada’s 12th-largest trade partner in 2022. Canada’s exports to Taiwan accounted for less than 0.5 per cent of its total exports and Canada’s imports from Taiwan accounted for one per cent.

“This suggests that Taiwan is not yet considered as a main supply source for Canada and the same situation applies the other way around,” said Yen.

She said the bilateral investment between both countries is also “lower than ideal” as Canada accounted for 0.1 per cent of the foreign investment in Taiwan over the past 10 years. And some areas have significant potential for growing trade and partnerships between Taiwan and B.C.

“The first potential is for agricultural products. And the second potential I would say is about the critical mineral supply, because Taiwan has a growing demand of some critical raw materials on which we want to diversify our import suppliers,” she said.

There are about 30 critical raw materials that Taiwan is highly dependent on China, and Canada has great potential to become Taiwan’s new partner in mineral supply, she added.  

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is another sector Taiwan companies are looking to relocate their investment to countries other than China.

“I understand that Canada wants to develop a strong ICT industry and it’s also an important area B.C. would like to further develop. … We can provide the ICT products and also can be your new source of ICT investments in B.C. as well as in Canada,” said Yen.

Liu said FIPA is a great step further but she also hopes the Canadian government seriously considers Taiwan’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to unlock more trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

“[We] encourage CPTPP members, including Canada, to start informal discussion and negotiations with Taiwan, so we can at least start the negotiation informally.”

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