PNoy vows closer PH-Canada ties

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 06 2015 11:28 AM | Updated as of May 07 2015 06:34 PM

MANILA – President Benigno Aquino III vowed closer ties, especially in terms of trade and investment, between the Philippines and Canada as he left for North America on Wednesday.

In his departure speech, Aquino said among his chief missions in his working visit in the US and state visit in Canada is to lure more Canadian investors and tourists to the Philippines.

''Ang US nga po ang pangatlong major trading partner ng Pilipinas, at layon nating paigtingin pa ang pangangalakal na ito. Ngayong lumalago ang mga ekonomiya ng ating dalawang bansa, ihahayag natin ang kahandaang sulitin ang bawat pagkakataon kasama nila, at higit pang ipapakita na talagang more open for business na ang Pilipinas,'' Aquino said.

''At gaya po sa Estados Unidos, susulitin natin ang pagkakataong ipakita sa mga kilalang negosyante ng Canada, at sa mga Pilipinong makakaharap natin sa Toronto at Vancouver na talagang it's more fun na ngayon sa ating bansa."

Canada is the Philippines' seventh top source market for tourism and 21st largest trading partner. The North American country has also designated Philippines as a ''country of focus'' for assistance and ''priority emerging market'' for overseas trade and investment.

''Kaliwa’t kanan nga po ang ayudang inilatag ng Canada para sa ating bansa: mula sa tulong para sa mga local government units sa pagpapatupad ng kanilang economic development plans, pag-gabay sa mga local entrepreneur upang magkaroon sila ng access sa tulong-pinansiyal at paglinang sa abilidad magnegosyo, at pati na rin ang iba’t ibang humanitarian assistance kung may kalamidad,'' he said.

Before going to Canada to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Aquino will first visit Chicago in the United States where he will attend several business meetings arranged by the US Chamber of Commerce.

Aquino will also pay a visit to the Filipino community in Chicago, which is home about 90,000 Filipinos.

''Makikipagkita rin po tayo sa Filipino community sa Chicago. Ang sabi sa atin: Chicago nga raw ang may pinakamalaking populasyon ng Pilipino sa Midwest United States,'' Aquino said.

''Siyempre po, pasalubong natin sa kanila ang good news na bunga ng mga repormang ating ipinunla sa loob ng higit apat na taon. Ibabalita natin sa kanila: Ibang-iba na talaga ang Pilipinas, at pihadong makakamit pa natin ang matatayog na pangarap sa tuloy-tuloy na pagpanig sa mabuting pamamahala."

In Canada, Aquino and Harper will witness the formal signing of a number of agreements seen to boost people-to-people relations and solidify the two countries' ties on labor cooperation, development assistance and infrastructure development.

Aquino will visit Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto in Canada before returning to Manila on May 9.

Aquino's visit to Canada this week is the first state visit by a Philippine president in 18 years. Former President Fidel Ramos made a state visit in Canada in 1997. – with ANC