Canadian Embassy in the Philippines announces partnership with DA

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Canadian Embassy in the Philippines

The Canadian Embassy in the Philippines, together with the Philippine Government’s Department of Agriculture (DA) said that it plans to double the value of farm and fishery exports to Canada.

Peter MacArthur, Canadian ambassador to the Philippines and William D. Dar, DA secretary, issued the joint statement during a virtual call, BuisnessWorld reports.

The two countries have reached an agreement to expand bilateral cooperation in agriculture, focusing on partnership in potato and dairy production, as well as food logistics and agroforestry.

Dar said during the virtual call that the Philippines wishes “to improve our balance of trade with Canada in succeeding years by selling more Filipino products like coconut water, virgin coconut oil (VCO), pineapples, mangoes, and melons.”

Dar said that they expect demand for Filipino farm and fishery products to further strengthen, as the Filipino community in Canada continues to grow in numbers.

“With about one million Filipinos residing and working in Canada — representing 2.7% of that country’s 37.7 million population, according to latest estimates — demand for various Philippine food products is expected to grow,” Dar said.

MacArthur stated that the Government of Canada is prepared to help the Philippine Government build capacity for local producers to enhance food supply logistics and establishing an agroforestry program that would benefit the country’s indigenous communities.

Philippines to Canada

In 2019, more than USD$98.8 million worth of farm and fishery products were exported to Canada from the Philippines, with coconut products leading the way.

USD$23.8 million – coconut products
USD$10.3 million – pineapple, dried guava and mangosteen products
USD$9.4 million – tuna and bangus products

Canada to Philippines

In 2019, more than USD$192 million worth of food products were exported to the Philippines from Canada, with frozen pork and offal products leading the way.

USD$57.3 million – frozen pork and offal products
USD$20 million – deboned meat, ham and other meat products
USD$11.6 million – potato products
USD$6.7 million – pig fat products

DA is currently testing Canadian potatoes in the Philippines, with tests for 8 different types of Canadian potatoes completed in the province of Benguet. Additional tests are scheduled for October.

In the video call, Dar said “If the adaptation trials succeed, yielding quality and cost-efficient potatoes (compared with) traditional varieties, Cordillera farmers could subsequently produce their own seed instead of relying on imports, and produce in commercial quantities for both table and processing use.”

The tests are part of a joint project by the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines, the Prince Edward Island Potato Board and the Cordillera Administrative Region‘s High-Value Crops Development Program

CANADIAN EMBASSY WELCOMES NEW AMBASSADOR

Peter MacArthur presented his credentials via video conference to President Rodrigo Duterte. MacArthur replaced John Holmes as Canada’s newest ambassador to the Philippines, the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines announced in a statement.

Prior to his assignment in the Philippines, MacArthur was chief of mission for Indonesia and Timor-Leste. His career also included diplomatic assignments to Russia, India, Japan and Hong Kong SAR.

MacArthur was director for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Development (DFAIT)‘s South, Southeast Asia and Oceana Bureau.




STRONG CANADA PHILIPPINES RELATIONSHIP

The new Canadian ambassador to the Philippines remarked on the strong relationship between Canada and the Philippines.

“Our amazing people-to-people links, expanding academic partnerships, growing trade and investment, as well as our cooperation on youth employment, women’s health and empowerment, and a commitment to maintaining the gains of peace in Mindanao underpin our dynamic relations,” Ambassador MacArthur said.

MacArthur also said that the friendship between the two countries will go a long way towards the international recovery efforts in a post-COVID-19 world.

“Our amazing people-to-people links, expanding academic partnerships, growing trade and investment, as well as our cooperation on youth employment, women’s health and empowerment, and a commitment to maintaining the gains of peace in Mindanao underpin our dynamic relations,” the ambassador remarked.

MacArthur stated that part of his responsibilities involved strengthening Canada-Philippines relations even further.

“Some of the oldest businesses operating in the Philippines are Canadian, today employing thousands of Filipinos. We seek to further expand commercial relations with such an important ASEAN economy—including services and direct investments,” he said.




CANADIAN EMBASSY IN THE PHILIPPINES

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