Canada earmarks P519 million funding for projects in Philippines

Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2022 03:05 PM

Canada’s International Trade Minister, Mary Ng, attends the ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting at a hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 04 August 2022. Cambodia is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) and related meetings from 31 July to 06 August 2022. EPA-EFE/KITH SEREY
Canada’s International Trade Minister, Mary Ng, attends the ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting at a hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 04 August 2022. Cambodia is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) and related meetings from 31 July to 06 August 2022. EPA-EFE/KITH SEREY


MANILA - Canada has earmarked P519 million to support projects in the Philippines focusing on sustainability, stability, and women empowerment, Canadian International Trade Minister Mary Ng said on Tuesday. 

Two of the three projects, done in partnership with the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program, will be focused on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), said Ng, who is in the Philippines for a brief visit.

Around P130 million will be for projects seeking to empower women towards sustainable peace in BARMM, to be implemented by the UN Women and the United Nations Development Program, she said.

The next P194.8 million will go to the Bangsamoro Normalization Trust Fund, implemented by the World Bank and another P194.8 million will go to Green and Climate Finance projects implemented by the United Nations Development Program, she added.

Minister Ng said both countries would continue to work through key issues including cybersecurity and foreign exchange market fluctuations, through an ongoing Joint Economic Commission as well as free trade talks with ASEAN.

Ng said they are quite eager to expand Canadian-Philippine trade and cooperation, and are currently working through a Joint Economic Commission with the Philippines, to identify specific sectors and industries for more mutually beneficial cooperation. 

“Infrastructure for sure, clean technologies, energy, renewable energies, digital industries, those are the areas that I have heard from the Philippines," she said.

"I point to the Joint Economic Commission that we struck just a number of months ago alongside my ministerial colleague here. It is through that that mechanism I think will really help us determine those kinds of economic development opportunities that will work for the Philippines and will work for Canada," she added. 

Canada is also pursuing a possible free trade agreement with ASEAN, which the Philippines is a part of. Canada is not part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact between ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Japan. 

Ng said Canada also supports the expansion of Philippine businesses into her country. The envoy visited homegrown brand Jollibee this week.

Jollibee Foods Corp plans to expand its footprint in Canada beyond the current 26 locations.

In 2021 Canada Philippine trade grew to C$2.8 billion (P121B) from C$2.1 billion (P90.89B) in 2020, or a 30 percent increase. 

Canada is outside the Philippines’ top 10 trade partners in terms of both imports and exports, according to the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. 

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