Joint Statement by International Trade Ministers of Philippines and Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, and Gregory L. Domingo, the Philippines’ Secretary of Trade and Industry, issued today March 20, 2015 the following joint statement:

“We, the ministers responsible for international trade for the Philippines and Canada, met on March 20, 2015, in Manila to discuss the potential for enhanced bilateral trade and investment relations between our two countries. Minister Fast’s mission follows the visit by Prime Minister Harper to the Philippines in November 2012, and the meeting between the two leaders on the margins of APEC in November 2014.

“We also discussed ways to build on our current commercial relationship, which is already supported by existing agreements, such as a double taxation agreement, aninvestment promotion and protection agreement, and a recently expanded air transportation agreement.

“We are committed to exploring ways to deepen and modernize our trade, investments and collaboration partnerships in areas of common interest, such as agri-food, transport, energy, infrastructure, education, defence and security. We also made a commitment to resolve a number of market access issues in a timely fashion.

“In order to increase business opportunities in each other’s market, we committed to leading trade missions—starting with Minister Fast’s return mission to the Philippines in May with a Canadian business delegation and a potential visit to Canada by Secretary Domingo accompanied by a number of Philippine company representatives. The Philippines participated in an ASEAN trade mission to Canada, in June 2014.

“The Philippines, as chair of APEC for 2015, shares Canada’s commitment to fostering the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the global economy. Further, the Philippines designation as a priority emerging market under the Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP) of Canada is a positive step towards progressive bilateral relationship”. (END)