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Philippines, Canada set exchange of trade, invest missions

Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and Canada have agreed to enhance bilateral trade and investment relations through the conduct of business missions.

In a joint statement, Canada’s Minister of International Trade Ed Fast and Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said they met in Manila last Friday “to discuss the potential for enhanced bilateral trade and investment relations between our two countries.”

Apart from enhancing trade, the two governments also discussed ways to build on the their current commercial relationship that is already supported by existing agreements such as a double taxation agreement, an investment 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,” the trade officials said.

To start the exchange of missions, Fast is expected to return to the Philippines in May with a Canadian business delegation.

Domingo, meanwhile, plans to visit Canada with several  Philippine company representatives.

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During Fast’s visit to the Philippines last year, he said the Philippines has been identified as a priority emerging market under the Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP) of Canada.

Under the GMAP, Canada will concentrate its efforts on markets that are seen to provide potential for Canadian businesses through active trade promotion.

The designation of the Philippines as a priority emerging market under the GMAP of Canada is seen as a positive step towards a progressive bilateral relationship.

As the Philippines is the chair and host of this year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings, the country also shares Canada’s commitment to promoting the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in the global economy.

In 2013, bilateral trade of Canada and the Philippines was valued at $1.7 billion.

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