Canadian foreign minister in PH to broaden political, economic interests
MANILA, Philippines—Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird is in Manila for a four-day visit, which would involve talks with the Philippines’ major business organizations on broadening political and economic interests in the region.
“Foreign Minister Baird is invited to address a joint membership meeting of major businesses associations organized by the Makati Business Club. The Minister is expected to discuss the growing importance of Canada’s relationship with the Philippines, and broader political and economic interests in the region,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.
The statement noted that Baird would be in Manila from July 16 to 19 and was invited by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario.
It said that Baird would be participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Park Tuesday.
“Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim will attend the event as civilian host and present the Minister with the symbolic key to the city of Manila,” the statement said.
It said that one of the highlights of the foreign ministers visit would include a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III on July 18.
Del Rosario would also host a dinner in honor of Baird at the Peninsula Manila Hotel, the statement said. The said dinner would be attended by Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Philippine Ambassador to Canada Leslie Gatan, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Special and Ocean Concerns Jose Brillantes, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for American Affairs Patricia Ann V. Paez, Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Fe Agoncillo-Reyes, Philippine Consul General to Vancouver Jose Ampeso, National Defense Assistant Secretary Raymund Quilop, Foreign Affairs Director for United States and Canada Senen T. Mangalile and Philippines-Canada Business Council Chairperson Dr. Mina Gabor.
The statement noted the year 2012 marked the 63rd year of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Canada which was established in December 1949.
It said that since 2010, the Philippines had been Canada’s largest source of immigrants and temporary workers, with more than 842,741 Filipinos living in Canada. It said that the Filipinos comprised a mixture of former Filipinos who have acquired Canadian citizenship, permanent migrants, live-in caregivers, nurses and other professional and skilled workers.
In 2011, remittances from Filipinos in Canada amounted to $2.07 billion or 10.3% of total remittances for the year, it said. Fat Reyes