Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Benigno Aquino III, President of the Philippines, today announced new initiatives that will further strengthen relations between Canada and the Philippines.
The announcement was made at an event in Ottawa on Parliament Hill during President Aquino’s State visit to Canada from May 7 to 9, 2015, which includes stops in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
The initiatives announced today will promote closer trade, investment and development ties between the two countries and enhance security collaboration to counter threats to regional and global security.
- Canada and the Philippines enjoy long-standing and positive bilateral relations based on shared democratic values and a mutual interest in expanding trade and commercial relations.
- The relationship is strengthened by the roughly 700,000 people of Filipino origin now residing in Canada.
- Prime Minister Harper made an official visit to the Philippines in November 2012, the first by a Canadian Prime Minister in 15 years. Prime Minister Harper and President Aquino met again on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Beijing in November 2014.
- In 1989, President Aquino’s mother, President Corazon Aquino, was the first Filipino President to make a state visit to Canada.
- The Philippines is Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner in Southeast Asia and is a priority market under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan. The Philippines is also a country of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts.
- With bilateral merchandise trade totalling $1.8 billion in 2014 and a population of approximately 100 million people, the Philippines is an important market for Canadian businesses.
- Canada played a leading role in the global response to Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) by providing significant humanitarian assistance funding to meet the immediate and early recovery needs of affected people as well as deploying a field hospital, experts and relief supplies to support a broad range of critical needs faced by the Filipino people.
- Canada is proud to have supported the development of the Bangsamoro peace agreement through our contribution to the work of the Government of the Philippines’ Independent Commission on Policing.
“Canada and the Philippines share a close friendship based on shared values and significant people-to-people ties. The initiatives announced today clearly demonstrate that both countries are committed to further enhancing our bilateral relationship with a particular emphasis on commerce, development and security.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper