Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, concluded her visit to the Philippines – as the first trade minister of any country to visit the Philippines since the inauguration of the new administration.
During her trip, Minister Ng highlighted that people of Filipino heritage make important contributions to communities across Canada, and that the Government looks forward to deepening people to people ties and the trade and investment relationship between Canada and the Philippines, including through the negotiation of a free trade agreement with ASEAN and the recently launched Canada-Philippines Joint Economic Commission.
Minister Ng also announced $12 million in funding for 3 new development assistance projects on behalf of the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada. These initiatives focus on supporting the Philippines’ efforts to strengthen its climate finance mechanisms, and achieve lasting peace and development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. This funding builds on the newly created $1 million Canada-ASEAN trust fund that Minister Ng announced at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting last month.
As part of Canada’s efforts to deepen its trade and investment with the Philippines, Minister Ng highlighted opportunities for Canadian companies to invest in the Philippines’ infrastructure and affirmed the significant progress made on initiatives underway in the region to establish Canada as the optimal partner for infrastructure projects. The Minister’s CANbuild infrastructure framework, which combines the expertise and services of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and Export Development Canada into one consolidated offering, will support Canadian companies to deliver meaningful and sustainable infrastructure projects for local communities and create jobs.
In Manila, Minister Ng also met with various Filipino business leaders, including women entrepreneurs and the Chief Executive Officer of Jollibee Ernesto Tanmantiong, to create additional opportunities for inclusive trade and investment, including in important sectors such as green technology, agriculture, and infrastructure. She also met with the President of the Asian Development Bank, Masatsugu Asakawa.
Canada has been, and always will be, a strong regional partner in Southeast Asia, providing $3.7 billion in development funds since 2000 to help advance social well-being across the region, including in the Philippines. Inclusive growth and human rights lie at the core of Canada’s trade policies and engagements.