New Philippines agreement is good for Canada
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This article was published 18/05/2022 (378 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Did you know that the number of Canadians of Filipino heritage is now over one million people? And that Winnipeg North is arguably the heart of the Canadian Filipino community?
Canada’s diversity is one of the reasons we have the ability to build strong relationships with many countries around the world. Last month we saw a good example of how our relationship with the Philippines continues to grow. Canada’s international trade minister, Mary Ng and Ramon Lopez, the secretary of trade and industry from the Philippines witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint economic commission between Canada and Philippines.
The new JEC signifies another important step in deepening trade relations between Canada and the Philippines, which will build stronger economic linkages in the Indo-Pacific area. Minister Ng said the JEC will improve dialogue and collaboration on shared and emerging economic, investment and trade priorities— including in growth sectors such as renewable energies, infrastructure, agriculture, sustainable mining, and information and communications technology. The JEC allows for the participation of stakeholders, which will assist in making sure the interests of businesses and workers are well represented.
This development demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to diversifying trade and economic partnerships across the Indo-Pacific region, which will result in creating more opportunities for Canadian businesses to export their innovative products and services, which means more jobs for people here in Canada.
The Philippines is an important trading partner and a vital economic player in the Indo-Pacific region. In 2021, Canada-Philippines bilateral merchandise trade totaled $2.7 billion, up from $2.3 billion in 2019. In addition, Canadian merchandise exports to the Philippines were valued at $1.3 billion (up from $899.4 million in 2020), while imports from the Philippines amounted to $1.4 billion (up from $1.2 billion in 2020).
Canada and the Philippines established diplomatic relations in 1949, and I have found that the national interests of both countries align on many issues, which have resulted in regular collaboration in the multilateral system, such as ASEAN, United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the World Trade Organization.
I view the new JEC as beneficial not just for our country but for the Philippines, as well. More importantly, it demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment toward ensuring a strong, inclusive and sustainable economic recovery, while creating jobs and generating growth through stronger commercial ties with fast-growing markets such as the Philippines.
Winnipeg North constituency report
Kevin Lamoureux is the Liberal Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North.