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The Rise of Asia & Its Business Opportunities for Canada

The recent financial crisis in the US and Europe has caused a new international financial order. On October 25th, Philip Leong, Vice-President, Director and Investment Advisor at RBC Dominion Securities, Inc. spoke to Edwards students about the new investment spectrum and the rise of the Asian Pacific, post-crisis.

As a guest speaker invited by the Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program (SEIDO), the University of Saskatchewan’s Hanlon Centre for International Business Studies, the university’s Masters of Science in Finance Program, as well as both the University of Saskatchewan International Office and University Advancement, Leong told students about Canada’s role in the new economic order and how Canada is in prime position to capture the rise of the Asian Pacific in the 21st century.

The event was organized by SEIDO Student Officers David Neufeld and Paulina Ernberg. More than 55 students, plus faculty and guests from the Saskatoon business community, were in attendance.

Leong explained how, in a few years, China will dominate the world’s foreign trade. The country is interested in our copper, uranium and potash and wants to do business with us. “I wanted to convey that financial changes match the changing world,” he says. “Students should take advantage of their business education and get involved with politics and policy at all levels.”

Leong also spoke about his own career experiences after graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1984, and inspired students with the opportunities the changing world will provide them.

"I think Mr. Leong's talk was inspiring for the students, especially his main message: be true to yourself, be ethical, and make a difference in the world,” says Dr. Marie Racine, Director of the M.Sc. Finance program.

Nicholas Kokkastamapoulos, SEIDO Program Coordinator, and coincidentally Hanlon Centre Director, agrees. “In the pursuit of international business success and wealth, it is tempting to compromise one’s sense of integrity and fair play,” he says. “Listening to how

Philip Leong made his career while standing to his true self is a great reminder that our students can be effective, respectable world leaders with a sense of ethics and corporate social responsibility.”

Paulina Ernberg, SEIDO Student Officer, was inspired by the talk. "It was wonderful to hear the message of 'follow your dreams and don't let anyone tell you that you can't.”

Leong advised students to watch how the world is changing and to take advantage of exchange or other international programs. He said the world will have changed dramatically 30 years from now and urged students to consider this when building their future careers and creating their wealth.

SEIDO Student Officer David Neufeld, who introduced Leong, says the talk was both exciting and relatable. “It made our classes seem more relevant, and it's great to be able to see your education be used in practice as Mr. Leong has done."

“I love Canada. This country has given me all of my opportunities to be successful,” says Leong. “I could have gone to school anywhere, but without the education I received here at the U of S, it wouldn't have been possible for me to achieve all the things I have over my career."

* Please note this article has been updated to reflect the new name change of the “Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program” (“SEIDO”), from its former program name as the “Saskatchewan International Trade Officer Program” (“SITO”).

The Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program (SEIDO) allows university/college and high schools throughout Saskatchewan the opportunity build global business knowledge, related skills development, and training opportunities for a career in global business, international trade and development. For more information, please contact Nicholas Kokkastamapoulos (SEIDO Program Coordinator) at the Haultain Institute for Global Business Studies at or or by telephone at (306) 715-2260. Thank you.

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