NOLI CALLS FOR STRONGER PHILIPPINE-CANADIAN TIES
21 June 2006
(Vancouver, Canada) Vice President Noli ‘Kabayan’ De Castro urged
Filipino and Canadian businessmen to further improve the “strong and
dynamic economic ties between the Philippines
and Canada,” and
proposed specific areas of cooperation for both countries.
De Castro, who is in Vancouver
for the third session of the World
Urban Forum (WUF3) organized by the U.N. Habitat, spoke before
officers and members of the Philippines-Canada Trade Council (PCTC), a
non-government association that promotes and assists trade and business
between the two countries.
The Vice President reported that Canada
is a major export market for the Philippines,
with the 2005 export of electrical wiring harnesses alone reaching $77
“Our Department of Trade and Industry
has targeted Canada
to be one of the top ten markets of Philippine products in the next
three years,” he revealed.
He also pointed out that the Philippines
imports Canadian products such as copper concentrates, wheat, meslin,
wood and non-coniferous species, and electronic products.
De Castro proposed five key areas “where both Canada and the Philippines
can gain from stronger cooperation.”
These are: mining, tourism, air service, manpower deployment, and
De Castro broached the idea of partnerships between Canada, “a world leader in
mining,” and the
which has a total untapped mineral wealth of $840 billion.
In tourism, he said that entry of Canadian tourists in the Philippines has been
growing with the opening of a tourism office in Toronto,
and expressed hope “this trend will be sustained.”
He also reiterated the proposal to convene air service talks to
increase flights between the two countries.
In manpower deployment, De Castro said that the negotiation of mutual
recognition for nurses and other health-related occupations would be
studied with Canada
on a bilateral level or within the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC).
“We are also keen on pursuing negotiations for a labor agreement on
caregiver deployment,” he added.
In development cooperation, the Vice President pointed out that the
Philippines has been a major recipient of Canadian aid, and that grants
from the Canadian
International Development Agency “have been instrumental in
pursuing capacity-building programs in the Philippines.”
“I hope this continues in the future,” he said.
Ref no. VPMEDIA 06-072