The Canadian government sees advantages in the growth of its trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) partnerships in the Philippines, which were valued at US$1.7 billion in 2013. However, Canadian businesses will need a stable and secure environment in order to invest in the Philippines more.
“We recognize that the Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the region and presents tremendous opportunities for Canadians who are bold enough to recognize opportunities here on the ground” said Ed Fast, Canada’s minister of international trade at a joint meeting in July between the Makati Business Club, the Management Association of the Philippines and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
Given the large amount of natural resources in the Philippines, mining is one of the key areas where Canadian companies see investment opportunities. But Fast noted several key policies and conditions and that the Philippine government must first meet.
“We have tremendous expertise and Canadians are looking to the Philippines as a possible investment destination. And what they have suggested is for the mining regime that is eventually adopted by the Philippine government is one that protects investors, has a fair tax regime and that takes into account the significant risks involved in mining, the significant costs that mining firms incur as they explore and move towards production. We have encouraged the Philippine government that be the case because if right signals are set through future legislation on mining, there will be significantly increased investments in mining “.
Besides the mining industry, Canada also sees potential for further trade and investment in the infrastructural and healthcare technology and agribusiness sectors.
Fast added that the Canadian government intends to work alongside the Philippines to help them in fixing problems such as infrastructure gaps and lack of regulation in the trade environment. With a goal of strengthening the two country’s economic partnership, the Philippines has been added to a list of 25 countries that will receive 90% of Canadian foreign aid. “This is a clear signal that Canada wants to engage in your country” said Fast.
Apart from the 10 million Philippine Pesos to aid those affected by Typhoon Glenda, Canada is also providing US$10 million for a development project that will offer financial services and facilitate partnerships between the private sector and governmental departments to help Philippine farmers grow their businesses.
Fast also expressed that Canada supports the Philippines’ desire to take part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement along with Singapore, the United States, Australia and several other Asian and Latin American nations as long as the country shares the same high level of ambition that the current 12 members have with regards to the removal of trade barriers.