Strengthening our Philippines connections


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/10/2022 (233 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The relationship between Canada and the Philippines continues to grow and both countries have benefitted as a result. A few weeks ago, Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of small business, export promotion and international trade, concluded her visit to the Philippines but before I get into some of the details allow me to provide some background.

Over one million people of Filipino heritage call Canada home and Winnipeg North (one of Canada’s 338 federal ridings) has the highest per-capita percentage of people of Filipino heritage of any Canadian riding.

For over 10 years, I have been actively involved in the Canada Philippine Parliamentary Friendship Group (most of the time as its chair) and I know first-hand the impact the Filipino community has had across Canada, in health care, factories and every other aspect of our economy.

Mary Ng, seen here with Peter MacArthur, ambassador of Canada to the Philippines, met many friendly faces on her recent trip to the southeast Asian country.

In 2021, Canada-Philippines bilateral merchandise trade totaled $2.8 billion, up from $2.1 billion in 2020 and the Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia. With that in mind, the people-to-people connections we have position us to foster an even healthier relationship.

Other quick facts include:

· In May 2022, Canada and the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding, establishing a joint economic commission;

· The Philippines is the first market in which the government-to-government CANbuild infrastructure framework will be implemented;

· The Philippines is Canada’s second-most important export market in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN);

· Canada and ASEAN agreed to work towards a free trade agreement in 2021, and just held the first round of negotiations this August.

Following Minister Ng’s return to Canada, we learned from a press release that she had a very fruitful trip

“While in the Philippines, Minister Ng announced $12 million in funding for three new development assistance projects. 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 a few weeks I will be travelling to the Philippines, and I am looking forward to promoting our healthy and growing relationship. I will hold a series of meetings while I’m there, including a free immigration workshop for family and friends of people who live in Winnipeg.

Kevin Lamoureux

Kevin Lamoureux
Winnipeg North constituency report

Kevin Lamoureux is the Liberal Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North.

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