OTTAWA, Canada – The government of Canada is committed to ensuring a strong, inclusive and sustainable economic recovery, while creating jobs and generating growth by deepening commercial ties with fast-growing markets, such as the Philippines.
“Yesterday, Mary Ng, minister of international trade, export promotion, small business and economic development, and Ramon Lopez, the Philippines’ secretary of trade and industry, witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Canada and the Philippines to establish a Joint Economic Commission (JEC).”
“Our government is committed to diversifying trade and economic partnerships across the Indo-Pacific region. and creating more opportunities for Canadian businesses to export their innovative products and services. Canada and the Philippines already share strong trade and people-to-people ties, and we are committed to further strengthening our commercial relations,” said minister Ng.
During the virtual ceremony, minister Ng emphasized the importance of the JEC as another step in deepening trade relations between Canada and the Philippines, and building stronger economic linkages in the Indo-Pacific. She highlighted that 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 will allow for the participation of stakeholders to help ensure that the interests of businesses and workers, especially SMEs and underrepresented groups, are promoted,” Global Affairs Canada said in a press release. “The Philippines is an important global trading partner for Canada and a vital economic player in the Indo-Pacific. By establishing the JEC, the government of Canada is advancing trade diversification in the region and encouraging job-creating foreign investments. The new mechanism builds on the momentum created by the recent launch of trade negotiations between Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which the Philippines is a member, and is another important milestone in the deepening of Canada’s partnerships with dynamic economies across the Indo-Pacific.”
In discussions with Secretary Lopez after the signing ceremony, minister Ng congratulated him on economic reforms by the Philippines that facilitate further trade liberalization; condemned Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, which is a direct violation of the rules-based international order and cannot be allowed to continue. Lopez welcomed the resumption of business travel and tourism between Canada and the Philippines as economies re-open from the COVID-19 pandemic
In 2021, Canada-Philippines bilateral merchandise trade totalled $2.7 billion, up from $2.3 billion in 2019 (pre-pandemic).
Canadian merchandise exports to the Philippines were valued at $1.3 billion ($899.4 million in 2020), while imports from the Philippines amounted to $1.4 billion ($1.2 billion in 2020).
2022 marks the 45th anniversary of Canada-ASEAN relations.
With a combined GDP of $5 trillion and a population of approximately 650 million, ASEAN represents the world’s fifth-largest economy and third-most populous consumer market.
In November 2021, Canada and ASEAN launched negotiations toward a Canada-ASEAN FTA.
As a bloc, the 10 ASEAN member states comprise Canada’s fourth-largest trading partner.
Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and ASEAN reached $31.5 billion in 2021, while services trade amounted to $5.8 billion in 2020, with further opportunity for growth.
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