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CanCham ushers in trade and investment prospects

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - June 29, 2016 - 12:00am

Canada day opens today 

CEBU, Philippines - The Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CanCham) announced the opening of various trade and investment opportunities in Cebu during the Canada Day, which will start today.

Now on its third year, CanCham is organizing activities that will be beneficial to Cebuanos such as briefing presentations on finance, immigration, governance, real estate properties, telecommunications, and trade missions, said CanCham-Cebu president Felix Tiukinhoy.

The two-day event will also have a Mini Trade Fair at the Ayala Center Cebu and a networking reception to further strengthen the connection of business and trade with Canada and Cebuano entrepreneurs.

Tiukinhoy said the networking reception, which will be held tonight at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel is expected to provide an avenue for Cebuanos and Canadian businesses to mutually do business together capitalizing on Canada and Cebu or Philippines' growing consumer-base.

Meanwhile, CanCham-Cebu Chapter is reiterating its commitment to help Cebuano businesses gain easier access to the Canadian market.

Tiukinhoy said the organization has initially identified concerns that needed attention, these are; medical tourism, educational exchanges, real estate and trading access, among others.

Canada has become one of the important markets for Cebuano traders across industries, thus Tiukinhoy said it is timely for CanCham-Cebu to craft its own advocacy that will address the local-centric issues.

CanCham national president Julian Payne said the group representing both Canadian and Filipino businesses is confident a bilateral agreement between the two countries would start moving forward this year.

"We expect it to continue later in the year. They have to finalize the exploration stage and they have to decide to negotiate,” Payne said.

With the Philippines as a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Canada being part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Payne said an FTA between the two countries would open opportunities for both to tap on other bigger markets.

There is a growing awareness in Canada of the opportunities in Asia, and in particular, the Philippines in recent years obviously because the economy has been improving, the investment grade upgrades, and monetary and fiscal policies are very good, so these are all big pluses, Payne concluded. (FREEMAN)

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