The geographical distance between Canada and Asean "need not be a deciding barrier to trade and investment where opportunities present themselves", said Minister of Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang.
"After all, many students in Singapore and other parts of Asean and Asia travel that same distance to study in Canada. Surely hardnosed businessmen should not be fazed where students are not," he said.
The minister was speaking at the inaugural Canada-Asean Business Forum, held last night at Fairmont Singapore and organised by the Canada-Asean Business Council.
About 250 delegates are expected to attend the two-day conference, which ends on Wednesday.