Southeast Asia

The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) economic region is comprised of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ASEAN forms Asia’s third largest economy after China and Japan and is the fourth largest import market in the world, with 655 million people and a combined GDP of more than US$2.7 trillion. British Columbia exporters are in an ideal position to seize the market opportunities in this thriving region.

Since 2011, exports to the Philippines have grown 176% and British Columbia has emerged as the largest provincial exporter to the Philippines, with 29% of national exports in 2017. B.C.’s main exports to Southeast Asia are raw materials such as wood pulp, lumber and copper ores.



Southeast Asia’s growing population and ongoing urbanization is driving interest in higher value farm products. As well, the growing middle class in the region is developing a preference for foods that are more convenient, nutritious and packaged in environmentally friendly ways. British Columbia’s agrifood producers are in an excellent position to capitalize on the opportunities in this market.
Learn more about export opportunities for our agrifoods sector.


There are a diverse range of opportunities for British Columbia companies in Southeast Asia’s technology sub-sectors. Common trends in the ICT/wireless sub sector include rising Internet use and investment in mobile, with rates of mobile usage skyrocketing in the past 10 years. For clean technology, the emphasis in the region is on renewable energy, water and waste water management, and green buildings. In the life sciences sector, significant opportunities exist in biopharmaceuticals, healthcare IT and the supply of medical devices, with six of the largest countries in the region relying heavily on imported medical devices.
Learn more about export opportunities for our technology sector.


Southeast Asia is a major importer of forestry products, with consumption steadily growing in the emerging economies of the region. Softwood dominates British Columbia’s forestry exports to the region, but opportunities also exist for low grade construction lumber.
Learn more about export opportunities for our forestry sector.


The rapid pace of economic growth and urbanization in Southeast Asia is driving demand for natural resources, both from within the region and from the direct sourcing of minerals. British Columbia is a major supplier of minerals and mineral products to the ASEAN countries, such as copper ores, zinc and sulphur. Opportunities to export British Columbia’s expertise in metallurgy, environmental engineering, mine safety and geoscience also exist.
Learn more about export opportunities for our mining sector.


Southeast Asia’s  infrastructure development varies by country. However, all of the emerging ASEAN markets have ambitious programs to raise the capacity and quality of their transportation infrastructure (ports, rail, roads), representing a huge opportunity for British Columbia suppliers of planning, engineering and environmental services. 
Learn more about export opportunities for our infrastructure and transportation sector.

International Education

Roughly 300,000 Southeast Asian students are studying overseas. The region’s large population and fast-growing middle class represent a significant opportunity for B.C.’s international education sector. 
Learn more about export opportunities for our international education sector.