June 10, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, spoke yesterday with Ramon Lopez, the Philippines’ Secretary of Trade and Industry.
Minister Ng and Secretary Lopez discussed ongoing efforts toward a free trade agreement between Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and expressed hopes that negotiations on such an agreement would be launched later this year. The Minister and the Secretary also discussed additional ways to enhance bilateral trade and investment, including in industries such as cleantech, infrastructure, health, and agri-food.
Minister Ng and Secretary Lopez discussed ongoing multilateral efforts, including at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the WTO, to strengthen global supply chains and facilitate the flow of essential goods and services, including COVID-19 vaccines. Minister Ng highlighted efforts by Canada and the Ottawa Group on WTO reform to advance the group’s Trade and Health Initiative and discussed the possibility of the Philippines supporting the initiative at the WTO.
Secretary Lopez confirmed the support of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry for Canada’s proposal to create a joint economic commission with the Philippines to deepen and broaden bilateral commercial and economic relations in support of a robust economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.