Winnipeg, Manitoba – Prime Minister Stephen Harper today welcomed the news that Benigno Aquino III, President of the Philippines, will visit Canada in early May. President Aquino’s bilateral visit to Canada will provide an opportunity for both leaders to reaffirm the close relationship between Canada and the Philippines, based on strong people-to-people ties.
Discussions between the two leaders will focus on expanding trade and investment, as well as cooperation on a range of issues, including development and countering threats to regional and global security. As Chair of APEC in 2015, the Philippines shares Canada’s commitment to fostering the participation of small- and medium- sized enterprises in the global economy. The two leaders will also meet with members of Canada’s vibrant Filipino community.
Canada and the Philippines have long-standing and positive bilateral relations based on shared democratic values, a mutual interest in expanding our trade and commercial relationship, and strong people-to-people ties.
In 1989, President Aquino’s mother, President Corazon Aquino, was the first Filipino President to make a state visit to Canada.
Prime Minister Harper made a bilateral visit to the Philippines in November 2012, the first by a Canadian Prime Minister in 15 years. Prime Minister Harper and President Aquino met again on the margins of the APEC Summit in Beijing in November 2014.
The Philippines is Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner in Southeast Asia and is a priority market under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.
With bilateral merchandise trade totalling $1.8 billion in 2014 and a market of about 100 million people, the Philippines is an important market for Canadian businesses.
The Philippines is hosting and chairing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2015.Minister Fast will be leading a trade mission to the Philippines from May 24-28, 2015, to boost trade and investment ties between the two countries.
The Philippines is a country of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts.
Canada played a leading role in the global response to Typhoon Haiyan by providing significant humanitarian assistance funding to meet the immediate and early recovery needs of affected people and deploying a field hospital, experts and relief supplies to support a broad range of critical needs faced by the Filipino people.
“Canada and the Philippines enjoy a close friendship based on shared democratic values and strong people-to-people ties. I look forward to meeting with President Aquino to further strengthen the bonds between our two countries, including in the areas of trade, investment, development and security, benefitting the citizens of both nations.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper