Minister Fast Participates in APEC and Leads Trade Mission to Philippines

News Release

Minister Fast Participates in APEC and Leads Trade Mission to Philippines

Supporting Canadian companies in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region is a priority to create jobs and prosperity across Canada

Boracay, Philippines – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today kicked off a visit to the Philippines, where he will advance and promote Canada’s commercial interests within the Asia-Pacific region at the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting from May 22 to 24, 2015, in Boracay, Philippines.

The meeting will provide an opportunity for Minister Fast to engage with his counterparts from APEC economies to expand Canada’s trade relationship with this growing and dynamic region, as part of the government’s ambitious pro-export plan. As chair of APEC in 2015, the Philippines shares Canada’s commitment to fostering the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the global economy.

Following APEC, Minister Fast will lead a multi-sector trade mission to Manila and Cebu, Philippines, from May 24 to 28, 2015, with more than 50 representatives of over 40 companies and organizations. He will be joined by Senator Tobias Enverga Jr.

Minister Fast’s trade mission to the Philippines will help Canadian companies, especially SMEs, take advantage of the opportunities available in one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia. Trade missions are just one of the many tools under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP), the government’s blueprint for creating jobs and economic growth through exports, to help Canadian businesses succeed in foreign markets.

During his recent historic state visit to Canada, Philippines’ President Benigno Aquino III and Prime Minister Stephen Harper reaffirmed the long-standing and positive Canada-Philippines bilateral partnership based on shared democratic values and a mutual interest in expanding trade and commercial relations, including through the launch of exploratory discussions on a free trade agreement.

Quick Facts

  • In 2014, APEC economies accounted for 57 percent of the world’s GDP and 39.8 percent of its population. They also represented 84 percent of Canada’s merchandise trade and included four of Canada’s top five national trading partners (the United States, China, Mexico and Japan).
  • The Philippines is the second fastest-growing economy in Asia. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and the Philippines totalled $1.8 billion in 2014.
  • The Philippines is a priority market under GMAP and a country of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts.
  • As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2015, Prime Minister Harper announced a total of $50 million over five years in direct financial assistance to Canadian SMEs for market research and participation in trade missions. It is expected that this funding will help between 500 and 1,000 Canadian entrepreneurs per year reach their full export potential.
  • In May 2014, the Canada-Philippines air transport agreement was expanded. There were close to 430,000 one-way passenger trips between Canada and the Philippines in 2013, up 22.5 percent over 2008. The Philippines has direct, non-stop air service to Canada.
  • In addition to the launch of exploratory talks toward a free trade agreement, President Aquino and Prime Minister Harper agreed to review with an intent to improve the Canada-Philippines Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.
  • Minister Fast was last in the Philippines in March 2015 as part of a trade mission to boost Canada’s exports and investment partnerships with the ASEAN and APEC members.


“As part of our government’s ambitious pro-export Global Markets Action Plan we are committed to opening up new market opportunities for Canadian businesses and to supporting our small and medium-sized enterprises with the tools they need achieve export success.

“Canada and the Philippines have a close partnership based on shared democratic values and strong people-to-people ties. This trade mission will help strengthen our economic and commercial relationship with one of the ASEAN region’s fastest-growing economies, creating jobs across Canada.”

– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

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