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Filipino businessmen urged to promote exports in Canada

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines has a suggestion for Filipino businessmen.

CanCham president Julian Payne is recommending that businessmen should promote in person Filipino exports in Canada.

Payne said during a visit to Davao City that exports should visit Canada and market their products themselves, according to a report by Sun Star Davao.

“So if you can’t take the hose to water, you bring the water to the hose. And in this case, if you’re not gonna get companies coming here, you better go there. I would argue, it’s more efficient. But the fact of the matter is, as a practical solution I don’t think you’re gonna get, in the first step, companies. We may have to do a better job in what they do when they go to Canada,” Payne said during the Philippines-Canada Trade Forum held at Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City on October 26.

Payne said that there had been trading missions to Canada, some have succeeded while others didn’t.

Payne believes the Filipino investors need to work harder to reach foreign investors especially those that have peace and security fears of Mindanao.

“It’s very hard, not only to get companies to come to Mindanao, even non-government organizations (NGOs), who are you know, have different orientations. Sometimes, they won’t get their people in Mindanao and it’s very simple. It’s because they can’t get insurance. That’s the reason,” Payne said in the Sun Star Davao report.

Payne said that a thorough promotion and working for export of specific commodities to take place between Philippines and Canada is a must.

“If it’s bananas, we need to plan very carefully. Who are the distributors of bananas in Canada? We probably know. Are there any impediments? Yes or No? I don’t think there are but maybe. We have to do our homework and find it. And step by step, item by item, and say that’s not the impediment, that’s not the problem,” Payne added.

PhilExport Davao president Ferdinand Marañon, during the forum, raised the concerns of the banana players in the region to allow export of bananas to Canada.

Senior Trade Commissioner of the Embassy of Canada Crista McInnis promised to study the tariff and restriction concerns involving banana export from the Philippines to Canada and to see what the embassy can do to finally export the commodity in their country.

Bananas in Canada are mostly coming from South America.

McInnis also added that the Philippines has a good human resource capital and must take advantage of it. “It’s one of your strongest assets both in terms of the age of the population here, the incredible language skills, the education, and training. Use that resource to move up the value chain as well. I think that is a really important opportunity for growing your markets… You also have a lot of capability and capacity to add value here in the Philippines and to export high-value products,” said McInnis.

McInnis cited in the Sun Star Davao report as an example the lumbers exported to the Philippines to Japan are then actually processed by Japan into prefab housing and then export it to Canada.