Canadian PM arrives in Manila Friday night for 3-day visit

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08:58 PM November 9th, 2012

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By: Jerome Aning, November 9th, 2012 08:58 PM

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper AP PHOTO/IVAN SEKRETAREV

MANILA, Philippines—Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was to arrive in Manila Friday night for a three-day visit.

Prime Minister Harper is being accompanied by his wife, Laureen Harper, Minister for International Trade Ed Fast, Minister for Natural Resources Joseph Oliver, Senator Tobias Enverga Jr., who is the first Filipino-Canadian senator, and 10 Filipino-Canadian community leaders.

They were to arrive on board a chartered plane at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 at around 9:30 p.m.

The visit of Harper is the highest-level visit of a Canadian official in the last 15 years, or since Prime Minister Jean Chretien brought a business delegation to the Philippines in 1997, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Canada is an active trading partner of the Philippines. The Philippines has reportedly become Canada’s No. 1 source of immigrants and overseas workers, with over 800,000 Filipinos now residing in that country.

Harper is on the second leg of an Asian trip. The Canadian delegation earlier visited India. They will depart for Hong Kong Sunday.

The DFA said Harper will meet with President Aquino and the members of the Cabinet Saturday. The two heads of government will discuss the “upward trajectory” of Philippines-Canada bilateral relations, the department added.

During the visit, Aquino and Harper will witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Philippine Department of National Defense and the Canadian Commercial Cooperation on government-to-government transactions in defense and military-related procurements

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