Strengthening people-to-people ties, trade and development partnerships to create jobs and opportunities
July 22, 2014 – Manila, Philippines – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today concluded a five-day trade mission to Sydney, Australia, and Manila, the Philippines, that focused on Canada’s ambitious pro-trade agenda within the G-20 and in Southeast Asia.
In both Sydney and Manila, Minister Fast met with Canadian businesses operating in the Asia-Pacific region. His message was clear: there is no better fuel for economic growth, jobs and prosperity for Canada, Australia and the Philippines than freer and more open trade.
Minister Fast’s trade mission to the Philippines focused on Canadian strengths in the agricultural, defence, information and communications technologies and sustainable technologies sectors. The Philippines recently took part in an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) delegation visit to Canada.
The Minister announced support for a project that will help farmers enhance their business management skills and access better farming practices, funding and markets for their products. This support reinforces Canada’s commitment to stimulating sustainable economic growth by leveraging private sector involvement and fostering good governance. The Philippines was recently added to Canada’s list of 25 development countries of focus.
At the Skills Development Center for Animation at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Manila, Minister Fast witnessed how Canadian-developed computer software by Toon Boom Animation of Montréal will develop Filipino talent in animation and digital media, thus playing an important role in reviving the animation sector in the Philippines.
Minister Fast also visited the Santuario de San Antonio, a church in Makati City, to light candles as a sign of respect to victims of Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Typhoon Yolanda), which swept across the Philippines in 2013, destroying more than a million homes, displacing 4.1 million people and killing more than 6,000 others. Canada responded quickly to that crisis, providing emergency humanitarian funding to relief agencies and dispatching the Disaster Assistance Response Team to assist with emergency medical, clean water, food and shelter needs in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon. Canadians also opened their hearts and wallets in 2013, pledging $85 million for relief efforts, an amount the Government of Canada matched for immediate and ongoing humanitarian and rebuilding assistance.
Yesterday, Canada announced that it will provide $250,000 for emergency humanitarian assistance to the Philippines, helping meet the urgent needs of those affected by Typhoon Rammasun (locally known as Typhoon Glenda), which hit the island nation last week.
In June, Canada announced a new air transport agreement with the Philippines to help further strengthen our commercial and people-to-people ties.
- Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and the Philippines totalled $1.7 billion in 2013, up 14.6 percent over the previous year.
- Canadian exports to the Philippines reached $593 million in 2013, up from $527.9 million in 2012.
- Canada’s top exports to the Philippines were meat, wood and related products and cereals. Top merchandise imports were electrical machinery and equipment, precision and technical instruments and machinery.
- There are approximately 662,600 people of Philippine descent in Canada. The Philippines has recently become one of the largest source countries of immigrants to Canada.
- The Philippines is currently the only ASEAN country that offers direct air transportation services to and from Canada. With close to 430,000 one-way trips in 2013, the Philippines is Canada’s 14th-largest air travel market, just behind Japan.
“Strengthening economic and commercial ties with the fast-growing and dynamic Asia-Pacific region and opening new markets for our exporters is part of our government’s ambitious pro-trade plan to create jobs and opportunities for hard-working Canadians and businesses. Our successes in the Philippines show that our small and medium-sized businesses can find markets for Canadian-made products and services that deliver jobs and benefits at home and abroad.”
– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade