Bridging Business Ties Between ASEAN and Canada


  Southeast Asia Canada Business Council

Welcome Message

From The President




We welcome the new year and the new decade with hope and celebration. As we move forward, our organization is stronger and positioned to grow.


With this said, I wish all a happy New Year for 2014 !





As it stands, the world has so many riches in its regions that are vast and potent. Geographically, each region is endowed with rich natural resources, human power, and other economic potential that can be utilized for the good of the human race.


However, some regions, for argument sake, are unexplored, more for businessmen’s lack of understanding of the complexities of the culture and general psyche of the peoples, to wit, SOUTHEAST ASIA. With its population of 580 million and counting, and with its rich natural resources such a gold, copper, nickel, oil, coal, and other minerals, plus abundant produce of the sea and produce of the earth, not counting human resources as a significant source of world labor force, SOUTHEAST ASIA is like a sleeping economic giant which must be awaken from its slumber; for it to flex its muscles and prove its worth. And SOUTHEAST ASIA CANADA BUSINESS COUNCIL took a big leap to do that task.


The Council was formed in 2004 to bridge and synergize economic relations between CANADA and SOUTHEAST ASIA. Years passed and events had been organized and being organized to fulfill its mandate – trade exhibits, trade forum, cultural events, trade missions, and seminars – showcasing SOUTHEAST ASIA as a booming economic market for Canada to buy and sell goods and services.


It is still a long way to go. Still there is much to be done. But the Council is undaunted no matter how formidable the task is because the light is very visible at the end of the tunnel. At the end of the day, statistics should show.


Carmelita Tapia










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The Taste of Asia

Richmond, BC Canada






They came, they saw, and they appreciated the biggest Asian event ever to be held in Richmond, the “Taste of Asia Festival 2009”, which was held from July 03 to July 05.  It was organized thru the  partnership of Southeast Asia Canada Business Council thru its President, Carmelita Tapia, and Summer Night Market 2009 Operator, Paul Cheung,  with guidance from “Taste of Asia Festival – Markham, Ontario”.


Political glitterati graced the opening ceremonies held at the site of the Summer Night Market on July 4, headed by Hon. Alice Wong, Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism and Immigration.  Also in attendance was Richard Lee, MLA, and Parliamentary Secretary for Asia Pacific Gateway Initiative.


Representatives from Taste of Asia Festival - Markham Ontario, Dr. Ken Ng, Ed Joaquin, and Emily Ng, came all the way from Markham and presented Congratulatory Letter from the City of Markham to the City of Richmond, which was accepted by Mr. Mark Mansfield, the Business Liaison officer for the City.


Likewise, dignitaries from several Asian countries came and lent their support:  the Consul General from Malaysia, Hon. Mohd Hassan, Bal; the Acting Consul General from Indonesia, Hon. E. Wibanarto; the Deputy Consul General from Thailand, Wanna Perngmark; and the Consul General of Korea, Hon. Tong Suh Mo.


Other community leaders and government officials from the City of Richmond also came and showed support to the Festival.


In her keynote speech, Hon. Alice Wong, thanked the organizers for facing up to the challenge of putting up events that include diverse entertainment and sports activities  from various Asian cultural and community organization, activities which strived to educate as well as entertain.  She extolled that activities like these enhance appreciation of Canada’s rich cultural diversity by fostering contacts and connections among Canadians thereby mutual respect, mutual responsibility and pride of shared citizenship are instilled among the members of the community.


The program opened with the colorful and hypnotizing Lion Dance.  It was followed by cultural performances by the Malaysia Singapore Brunei Cultural Dance Group headed by Doris Chung.  Not to be outdone was the Indonesia Cultural Dancers.  Each group presented their unique and colorful costume to the beat and rhythm of their native music  and sounds.


While the cultural presentation was going on, the 3 on 3 basketball tournament was being held on the other side of the grounds of the Night Market.  Ed Tapia and Paul Cabrera organized a group of aspiring hoopsters who showed their dexterity at ball handling.  Surprising enough, a 13 year old from Seattle, John Cruz, won the trophy for his sometimes awkward but superb handling of the ball.


A few blocks away, at Clear2, a badminton clinic is being held under the mentorship of

badminton gurus and enthusiasts, Robert Wilson and Rob Bentley.


To cap the festivities, a boxing and kickboxing exhibition which was made possible through the facilities of Gionco’s Sportsworld headed by its Founder and President, Gerry Gionco, was featured.  Professional athletes, title holders, and celebrities in the sports arena awed and wowed the crowd with their athletic abilities and extraordinary physical stamina.






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  Southeast Asia Canada Business Council

  October 23 –November 08, 2007


In total there were 20 delegates – 8 went to Jakarta, 10 went to Thailand, and everybody joined together in the Philippines.



                                PART 1 -     INDONESIA


                  IAN CHENG

                  MARIFE FURBER

                  HOCHEOL JEONG

                  DAVID HARRISON

                  NATIE SOTANA

                  CARMELITA TAPIA

                  RUBEN VERZOSA


                  IMAN ENOCH (Vancouver-Indonesia Trade Information Centre)

The delegates left Vancouver on OCTOBER 23, had a 4-hour lay-over in Manila and arrived in Jakarta on October 25.  They stayed at Hotel Borobudur, one of the best hotels in Jakarta.  The Indonesia Consulate General in Vancouver thru Consul General Bunyan Saptomo and Consul Ary Aprianto, arranged for the delegates pick-up and send-off to and from the Airport.  The delegates were also provided with meals and transportation to attend functions and meetings throughout their stay in Indonesia.


The night of OCTOBER 25, Ms. Nastiti Budianti, Indonesia’s Commercial Technical Attache posted in Ottawa, with Congen Bunyan Saptomo and Consul Aprianto tendered dinner for the delegates.


The following morning, OCTOBER 26, the delegates were brought to Indonesia Trade Expo 2007, accompanied by Ms. Budianti and Consul Aprianto, to attend a dialogue/meeting with Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, the National Agency for Placement and Protection of Migrant Workers, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Asia Pacific Promotion, National Agency for Export Development, Indonesia Spa Association, and members from the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce.

There was an exchange of business cards and other information with each and everyone hoping to do business in the near future.  Most notable among the attendees were businesses engaged in tourism, education, hospitality industry, and human resources. 


There were also businesses that deal with the manufacture of traditional products like furniture and handicrafts.  


In the evening, P.T. Millenium Muda Mandiri, a business establishment that deals with education in tourism and hospitality industry, and human resources thru its Director, Mr. Ade Sutarsa, and its Consultant, Ms. Tina Ferreros, hosted a reception for the delegates.  A very productive dialogue between the students and the delegates was held.  Ms. Natie Sotana and Ms. Marife Furber advised the students to keep on improving their English writing and speaking skills to get a foothold in the global workforce.


On OCTOBER 27, the delegates were back at Indonesia Trade Expo Centre to take a look at the products on display at the booths. They had a fun time bargain hunting and networking with the Indonesian entrepreneurs.


Late in the afternoon, the delegates left for Bali.


OCTOBER 28 was called “Holiday in Bali” for the delegates. They stayed at Ronald Tabaluyan’s resort.  His business associate, Albert Tandean, accompanied the delegates to an educational tour of the Batik making process, jewelry crafting, and oil and water color painting by young Indonesian artists.  They also visited century old religious temples around Bali and feasted their eyes on the religious and mystical relics on display at roadside stores.  Unfortunately, nobody had a chance to take a stroll at the famous Bali beach.


OCTOBER 29, back to Jakarta, the delegates had a very hectic day.  Early morning, they had an informational meeting with officers of the Indonesia Coal Mining Association.


Mid afternoon, the Canadian Trade Commissioner to Indonesia, Mr. Ross Miller, graciously hosted lunch for the delegates.  Earlier, his staff held a very informative presentation about Canada-Indonesia trade relations, and during lunch, Mr. Richard Emerson, a Canadian who has been a resident of Indonesia for about 20 years, and a legal consultant for SSEK, gave a very positive and encouraging lecture on doing business in Indonesia from a legal point of view.

Late in the afternoon, back at the hotel, the delegates had one on one meeting with Indonesia businessmen they met at the business dialogue held on October 26.

In the evening, a dinner was hosted by INDO GAYA SPA jointly with National Agency for Placement and Protection of Migrant Workers.

Tuesday, OCTOBER 30, the delegates were treated to a very relaxing morning at Indo Gaya Spa and a tour of the sewing facilities of PT Mardohar Catur-Tunggal Gaya.  PT Mardohar is a sister company of Indo Gaya Spa.  It contracts for Esprit and other brand name products.

The delegates left for Bangkok at 5:00 in the afternoon.  Ruben Verzosa had to stay a couple more days to visit several mining companies as arranged by Indonesia Coal Mining Association and the office of the Canadian Trade Commissioner, Mr. Ross Miller.



  1. Ms. Furber of Canbiz Network Services is in negotiation with a well known Hospitality and Tourism School for a possible JV

  2. Ms. Natie Sotana and Associates will set up a Health and Caregiving Training School in Jakarta.

  3. David Harrison is interested in Lombok’s Pearl Farms and will go back to Indonesia in March.

  4. Ian Cheng is busy promoting “Mining Suits and Apparel” of  Mardohar for the Mining Industry

  5. Hocheol Jeong is gathering all relevant information about land and resort development in Indonesia.

  6. Ruben Verzosa is bringing a contingent of Mining companies in early February.


                                                   PART II -  THAILAND


                 IAN CHENG

                 MARIFE FURBER

                 JOHN GAN  (Head – Health and Wellness Segment)

                 DAVID HARRISON

                 HOCHEOL JEONG

                 NATIE SOTANA

                 CARMELITA TAPIA

                 LILLIA TIAMZON

                 IRENE YATCO

                 SYLVIA YATCO


OCTOBER 31, the delegates arrived in Bangkok from Jakarta at 5:00 A.M.  Everybody stayed at CHAO PHAYA PARK HOTEL.

The Department of Export Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce of the Royal Thai Government provided the pick-up and send off including transportation to and from the Airport. 


At 9:00 A.M, a welcome reception was organized for the delegates by the Department of Export Promotion.  It was followed by a presentation of Thailand Business in Focus on Education, Medical Tourism, and SPA Health and Wellness presided by Director  Pramuk Montriwat.

Individual business matching was held from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Companies which had interaction with the delegates included representatives from:


                            Bangkok Hospital

                            Samitivej Hospital

                            BNH Medical Hospital,

                            Siriraj Hospital

                            RSU Health Care

                            Pattay Smile Dental Clinic

                            Jansom Hot SPA Hotel

                            AVATAR SPA Mountain Suite

                            Good 4 You SPA Resort

                            Nippon Medical Wellness

                            Thai SPA and Natural

                            Sky Line Specialty

                            VM Group

                            Dusit Thani College


                            Smile Fruit Company Ltd.

                            Business Partner Company Ltd.

                            SAFSOF Rubber Foam Products

                            Juthamart Marketing Co., Ltd.


The delegates left at 3:30 to pay a courtesy call to Dr. Manaspas Xuto, Advisor to Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Royal Thai Government.

Dr. Xuto briefed the delegates about his visit in Toronto in September with productive results like the agreement reached between the College of Arts, Communications and Technology of the University of Chiangmai and the School of Fashion and the Ted Rogers Schools of Business Management of Ryerson University of Toronto.  He also mentioned about the ongoing talks between a bank in Thailand and Canadian bank to see how their partnership can be enhanced.  He also anticipates the establishment of a School of Fashion in Chiangmai under Canadian-Thai cooperation by 2008.


The delegates echoed Dr. Xuto’s call for synergized business cooperation between Canada and Thailand.   They emphasized that the Trade Mission aims to build additional groundwork to further strengthen and to expand Canada-Thailand trade and investment linkages.


NOVEMBER 01, the delegates visited Burumgrad Hospital. They were awed by its state of the art facilities and services. 

From Burumgrad Hospital, the delegates went on a tour of the newly constructed and most modern TRIA Integrative Wellness.  It is a unit of Piyavate Hospital PCL.   As the name says, it offers the best in health and wellness.


NOVEMBER 02 -  At 9:00 A.M. the delegates had a short briefing with the Canadian Ambassador to Thailand,  H.E. David Sproule.  Also, there was a short presentation by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce thru its President, Mr. Ron Livingston.  For about an hour, the Thailand Trade Commissioner Service thru the Trade Commissioners for specific sector interest, had a very productive dialogue with the delegates. 


The delegation left for Manila at 12:00 PM.



  1. A draft of an MOU with SAMITIVEJ Hospitals is undergoing review by SEACBC Legal Counsel.

  2. A Seminar on Medical Tourism – Thailand to be held in Vancouver in 2008 is in the planning stage.

  3. A sample of the Tuna Fish Sauce from Juthamart Marketing Co. was sent to Canadian Food Inspection Agency for evaluation.

  4. The Group of PJ-I Quest International is looking at the possibility of marketing Skyline Specialty Company products of Arose Aromatic Herbal Pack to Canada and Australia.


                                            PART III - PHILIPPINES


                     ROLLIE AMBROSIO

                     IAN CHENG

                     CHRISTINE DAQUIADO

                     MELINDA EGELUND

                     MARIFE FURBER

                     DAVID HARRISON            

                     HOCHEOL JEONG

                     JUN OLORESISIMO

                     NATIE SOTANA

                     CARMELITA TAPIA

                     LILLIA TIAMZON

                     OSCAR TIU

                     WILLIAM UY                

                     NORMA VITO

                     IRENE YATCO

                     TONY ARIAS – Head of Mining Segment

                     JILL BALDWIN

                     DR, MICHAEL HITCH

                     VIC INGCO

                     GREG MANZUR

                     JANE MCKAY

                     RUBEN VERZOSA


NOVEMBER  02 -  The delegates arrived at 6:30 PM.  Transportation for pick-up and send off to and from the airport including transport from various appointments was arranged by the Office of the Mayor of Marikina City, thru Ms. Lea Astrud Santiago, Head of Marikina Cultural, Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotions Office.

The delegates stayed for one night at Marikina Hotel.  Everybody left for Makati the next day to be within the financial and business area.  Unfortunately, due to an ongoing convention and a forthcoming music concert, all the hotels were almost booked to capacity. The delegates had to split into groups. 


NOVEMBER 03 -  The delegates had a meeting with the League of Municipalities headed by  President, Mayor Ramon Guico, and Secretary General, Mayor Gerardo Calderon.  Discussion was focused on economic cooperation between the municipalities and the Canadian businesses represented by the delegates.   The export of human resources became a main topic including retraining of Filipinos to be more competitive in the global market.  Mining also became an issue especially the environmental impact on the municipalities. 


After lunch, the delegates toured the facilities of World Citi Medical Centre in Quezon City, and had a first hand look at the services it offers. 

NOVEMBER 04 – A Marikina City Tour was arranged by the City of Marikina.  The delegates had a first hand look at the bag making, shoe making and other home based businesses in Marikina.  They also visited Imelda Marcos’ Shoes Museum.


At 6:00 PM, the delegates attended the Talent portion of the Miss Earth Beauty Pageant which was held at Marikina Amphitheater.


NOVEMBER 05 -  An 8:00 A.M. breakfast meeting with Congressman Hermilando Mandanas and a group of business entrepreneurs was held at Club Filipino.  The brief discussion centered on the exploration of several mining properties and the resort development of a private island near Batangas.


A meeting with DFA, Office of Undersecretary of International Relations, Edsel Custudio followed at 11:00 AM.  The discussion centered on Manpower and export of  Human Resources.    Natie Sotana, an Immigration Consultant, exchanged insights with the Undersecretary.

After a brief lunch, a 2:00 Pm meeting at the Canadian Trade Commissioner Office, to be presided by the Acting Senior Trade Commissioner, David Dunkerley, was delayed considerably.  Not very much was discussed due to time constraints.  However, David Harrison will be back in March per his discussion with the Trade Commissioner.


At 6:00 PM, a dinner was co-hosted by well known miner, Jack Rodriguez and BCDA Chairman Aloysius R. Santos.  But Jack Rodriguez failed to come because his flight from Cebu was cancelled due to a storm. It was agreed that more discussions on several mining properties owned by Jack will be held at a later date.

NOVEMBER 06 -   The delegates had too split.  The delegates for the mining segment  met with Director Horacio Ramos of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau while the rest of the delegates went on a breakfast Business Matching with the Marikina Chamber of Commerce.  The delegates had interaction with businessmen from the cross section of Marikina’s total business industry.  But it was the topic of immigration and human resources which attracted most attention. 

A lunch for the delegates was hosted by the management of Riverbanks Centre thru its President, Mr. Meneleo Carlos, Jr.


A dinner at 7:00 PM was hosted by Marikina Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce.


The delegates were introduced to the leaders and dedicated experts in the shoe industry.


NOVEMBER 07 -  The delegates for the mining segment had a 10:00 A.M. breakfast meeting with Secretary Heherson Alvarez of the Philippine Mining Development Corporation, and a 2:00 PM meeting with Secretary Lito Atienza of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,  while the rest of the delegates attended Investors Forum hosted by the City Government of Marikina at Bulwagan ng Bayani in Marikina City.                                                                                                                 

The Forum was attended by Board of Investments One Stop Action Center headed by Director Celeste Ilagan; Philippine Export Zone Authority headed by Atty. Lillia de Lima; the Department of Tourism headed by Director Maria Victora Jazmin; University of the Philippines headed by Dean Corazon Rodriguez; and POEA headed by its Deputy Administrator Carmelita Dimzon; Representatives from various cities and municipalities also attended the Forum.


With the Forum’s impassioned plea of “PHILIPPINES, ITS TIME.  Now is the best time to invite investors and tourists to our country.  Let us unite and show the world that we are ready…and we are globally competitive!!!”, the delegates representing SOUTHEAST ASIA CANADA BUSINESS COUNCIL, took advantage of the opportunity to explain to the attendees the agenda of the trade mission – to explore trade opportunities in mining, medical tourism, education, and capacity building so goods and services from Southeast Asia can be exported to Canada and vice-versa.  The time has come for everybody to cooperate and come together to reach the common goal.  The Council is willing to help.


NOVEMBER 08 -  Most of the delegates left for Vancouver.  Some of the delegates for the mining segment had to stay a few days for more exploratory meetings.


  1. The group of Marife Furber in JV  with Canadian Tourism College is partnering with Philippine educational and training institutions thru the recognized articulation process to transfer CTC credits towards degree granting programs

  2. David Harrison engages a Philippine company to do legal transcription jobs.  David is going back to the Philippines in March to pursue other business interests.

  3. Jun Oloresisimo is consulting with his legal counsel regarding the possibility of entering into JV with a Marikina leather company for his MODA ITALIA brand name of handbags being distributed in Canada.                                                                                                        

  4. Natie Sotana is partnering with a Caregiving Training School operating in the Visayas.

  5. A group of Resort developers headed by SEACBC Director, Robert Wilson will leave for Cebu, Bohol and Boracay on January 06, 2008.

  6. Mining Report still unavailable due to some ongoing negotiations                     


 The delegates are very appreciative of the help and support of the following:


1.       Indonesia Consul General - Vancouver -  Hon. Bunyan Saptomo

2.       Indonesia Commercial Technical Attache based in Ottawa – Sri Nastiti Budianti

3.       Indonesia Consul - Vancouver – Ary Aprianto

4.       Canadian  Senior Trade Commissioner to Indonesia, Mr. Ross Miller

5.       Mr. Albert Tandean of PT Tirta Marina Cultivation

6.       Ms. Tina Ferreros

7.       Thai Trade Centre Director – Ms. Sirirat Vadhanagul

8.       Department of Export Promotion  -  Director  Pramuk Montriwat

9.       Thailand Consul General – Kosit Chatpaiboon

10.   Thailand Trade Centre IMO – Chaiwut Kovitwanichkanont

11.   Canadian Senior Trade Commissioner to Thailand - Mr. Greg Goldhawk

12.   Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs  - Peerapong Phimonwichayakit

13.   Thailand DEP – Wanvisa Udol

14.   Thailand Dept. of American and South Pacifc Affairs – Kanchana Patarachoke

15.   Philippine Consul General - Vancouver – Hon. Ruth Morales Prado

16.   Philippine Consul - Vancouver – Consul Raul Hernandez

17.   Philippine Consul - Vancouver -  Consul Robespierre Bolivar

18.   Mayor of the City of Marikina – Hon. Marides Fernando

19.   Marikina Tourism, Cultural and Investment Promotions –  Chairman Lea Astrud Santiago

20.   BCDA – Chairman Aloysius Santos

21.   House of Representatives – Congressman Hermilando Mandanas

22.   Mr. Jack Rodriguez

23.   League of Municipalities of the Philippines – Hon. Ramon Guico

24.   League of Municipalities of the Philippines – Hon. Gerardo Calderon

25.   Canadian Senior Trade Commissioner  - Ellen Ruth Zeisler

26.   Trade Commissioner – David Dunkerley

27.   Mr. Allan Coo of Philippine Airlines         



*Disclaimers and Private Policy

©2008 South East Asia Canada Business Council (SEACBC)


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Malaysia Canada Business Association

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Canada Singapore Business Association


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Philippines Canada Trade Council

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Thai Association of B.C

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The Vancouver Vietnamese Chinese Business Association BC





IA-Z Tour



Benefits BC


Catherine Sas Immigration Law Center


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InterMark Law Corp.

Smeets Law Corp.

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TD Canada Trusts

Time Telecom






Canada Business Network Services

Elvic International

Moda Italia

Odessa Manufacturing

One-Med Health Care

PICO Garments