Visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper sees the Philippines as “an emerging Asian tiger,” agreeing with the bullish outlook on the country of political and organization leaders from a lot of other parts of the planet.

To demonstrate Canada’s confidence in the Philippine economic climate, Harper pledged to improve Canadian investment in the nation for the duration of his meeting with President Benigno Aquino in Malacanang yesterday.

Bilateral trade between Canada and the Philippines amounts to US$ 1.five billion.

Aquino and Harper agreed to cooperate on defence and trade, and committed to people-to-folks exchanges in between the Philippines and Canada.

At a joint news conference, Aquino and Harper announced that the Philippine Department of National Defence and the state-run Canadian Commercial Corp. had signed a deal to help Manila acquire military equipment to defend its territory.

The deal was signed amid a territorial dispute among the Philippines and China more than islands and waters in the West Philippine Sea (also known as South China Sea).

President Aquino mentioned the deal would support the Philippines create up its defence and safety capabilities. He declined to elaborate.

But Harper mentioned the deal would “allow the Philippines to get the equipment and experience it wants to fulfil the country’s defence and safety agenda.”

Below the deal, Philippine purchases of gear and knowledge from Canada’s 12.6 billion Canadian dollar (US$ 12.6 billion) defence market are guaranteed by the Ottawa government, according to a Canadian government statement.

Aquino and Harper discussed the progress in the Aquino administration’s excellent government programme and the gains in the peace method, especially the signing of framework agreement for peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

At the news conference, Aquino and Harper did not cite particular amounts for Canadian investment, but Harper described the Philippines as an “essential economic companion” and an “emerging Asian tiger.”

Aquino mentioned the Philippines was open for enterprise below a new management, and that he saw the visit of Harper as a “recognition of the change of environment in the Philippines.”

“We do see increased commercial trade ties between our nations,” Aquino stated.

He stated it was “logical to assume” that the $ 1.5 billion two-way trade between the two nations is “just the starting point.”

Defence cooperation

The two leaders witnessed the signing of the defence deal by Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Canadian Minister for International Trade and Asia-Pacific Gateway Ed Fast.

“This will assist us in our efforts to build our defence and security capabilities,” Aquino said, welcoming Canada’s aid in the significantly-delayed modernisation of the Philippine armed forces.

The Canadian Commercial Corp. serves as a go-amongst for Canadian suppliers and foreign governments to transact defence and safety contracts.

The Philippines has been in the market place for patrol vessels to guard its waters, like places that overlap with territory claimed by China.

Manila’s military treaty ally the United States is set this year to provide a second refurbished Hamilton-class cutter, previously utilized by the US Coast Guard, to the Philippine Navy.

Final month, the Philippine Coast Guard announced it would get 5 patrol boats from France for about 90 million euros ($ 116 million), partly to guard disputed locations in the West Philippine Sea.

Harper and his lean delegation arrived in Manila Friday night.

He was accorded military honours on the Palace grounds when he showed up at 10:30am yesterday.

He then proceeded to sign the presidential guestbook prior to he and Aquino sat for discussions in the Music Room.

This was followed by an expanded bilateral meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room and the signing of the defence deal and issuance of a joint press statement at the Reception Hall.

A state luncheon at the Rizal Hall hosted by Aquino in honour of Harper and his wife, Laureen, ended the official pay a visit to of the Canadian prime minister.

Harper was scheduled to fly back to Canada at 9:30am nowadays.
Ties that bind

Harper’s go to is the 1st by the highest Canadian official in 15 years. The final Canadian head of government to pay a visit to the Philippines was Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who brought a company delegation to Manila in 1997.

In addition to Quickly, Harper’s delegation integrated Joseph Oliver, minister for Natural Resources the first Filipino-Canadian senator Tobias Enverga Jr. and ten Filipino-Canadian community leaders.

“Our government is taking actions to aggressively expand commercial relations with the whole Asia-Pacific region. We’re undertaking so to assist develop jobs, economic growth and a greater high quality of life both in Asia and in Canada,” Harper mentioned at the official reception.

Harper disclosed the “numerous ties that bind” Canada and the Philippines such as the Foreign Investment Promotion Protection Agreement signed in 1995, and the increasing folks-to-individuals links.

There are practically 800,000 Canadians of Filipino descent living and operating in Canada.

With a report from AFP

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