Canada and the Philippines have created a new mechanism to enhance economic ties.
Canada’s Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, and Ramon Lopez, Secretary of Trade and Industry in the Philippines, witnessed on May 1 the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries to establish a Joint Economic Commission (JEC).
“Our government is committed to diversifying trade and economic partnerships across the Indo-Pacific region, and creating more opportunities for Canadian businesses to export their innovative products and services,” Ng said in an official media release on May 2.
“Canada and the Philippines already share strong trade and people-to-people ties, and we are committed to further strengthening our commercial relations,” Ng also said.
The media release related that during the virtual ceremony, Ng emphasized the importance of the JEC as “another step in deepening trade relations between Canada and the Philippines, and building stronger economic linkages in the Indo-Pacific”.
Ng also “highlighted that the JEC will improve dialogue and collaboration on shared and emerging economic, investment and trade priorities—including in growth sectors such as renewable energies, infrastructure, agriculture, sustainable mining, and information and communications technology”.
Moreover, “The JEC will allow for the participation of stakeholders to help ensure that the interests of businesses and workers, especially SMEs and underrepresented groups, are promoted.”
After the virtual signing ceremony, Ng also congratulated Lopez on “economic reforms by the Philippines that facilitate further trade liberalization”.
The Canadian minister also welcomed the resumption of business travel and tourism between Canada and the Philippines as economies re-open from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, Canada-Philippines bilateral merchandise trade totalled $2.7 billion, up from $2.3 billion in 2019 or before the pandemic.
Canadian merchandise exports to the Philippines were valued at $1.3 billion ($899.4 million in 2020).
Imports from the Philippines amounted to $1.4 billion ($1.2 billion in 2020).
Ng was first elected as the Member of Parliament for the Ontario riding of Markham—Thornhill in April 2017.
She was appointed Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion in July 2018.
Ng was re-elected in October 2019, and was appointed Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade in November 2019.
Ng was re-elected for the third time in September of 2021, and in October 2021, was appointed Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.