A young South Surrey woman with designs on a career in international relations is gearing up to promote Canada’s economic interests in Southeast Asia, as one of 30 youth delegates selected for a trade mission to Singapore and Malaysia.
Aashina Singh, 20, is set to leave July 25 for the two-week experience offered through Global Vision’s Junior Team Canada program, which aims to provide Canadian youth “with the skills, experience and knowledge they need to compete in the global economy.”
According to a sponsorship package, the trade mission is a “‘boots on the ground’ experience promoting Canadian industry and culture in foreign markets.”
And Singh, a former White Rock Youth Ambassador currently in her second year of studies at Simon Fraser University, says she can’t wait to dive in.
“I’m really passionate about putting Canada out front and telling the world that Canada is open for business,” Singh said Tuesday.
Singh earned the opportunity to be a delegate on the world stage after successfully representing B.C. in Ottawa earlier this year during the National Youth Ambassador Caucus (NYAC) 2019.
That May 31 to June 3 experience was about working with young leaders from across the country to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and open up dialogue with business, government and community leaders.
In Southeast Asia, working in collaboration with the countries’ High Commissioner and Trade and Investment Representative offices, Singh’s mandates will include promoting growth opportunities for foreign investors in Metro Vancouver’s clean technology, real estate, manufacturing and tourism sectors – in particular, for those companies and organizations who help sponsor her trip – as well as strengthening diplomatic relations.
Singh said while there’s “a lot of responsibility” on the delegates, she’s more excited than nervous about the opportunity.
“If I do well at this, a lot more will open up as well,” she said.
She’s not one to pass up opportunities, Singh added, noting the mantra is rooted in lessons from her parents.
“Whatever comes along, I’m open. I just don’t want to say no to something and regret it later,” she said. “They’ve always told us, ‘Don’t say no up front. Think about it.’”
As for promoting Canada, Singh said she knows firsthand why it is “the best country in the world.”
Her family immigrated here from India when she was 12 years old. In India, she said, “there’s a lot of corruption” to contend with in doing business, but in Canada, “there’s equal opportunity.”
Multiculturalism is also not as accepted in India, Singh said.
As a trade-mission delegate, Singh must raise $6,000 towards costs of her trip. She encouraged “any organization or business looking to expand into the Southeast Asia market or support youth leadership” as a sponsor to contact her at 778-241-1535, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org