Ottawa – A visiting business delegation from the Philippines, comprised of heads, owners and representatives of various Philippine enterprises, was welcomed at the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa on Aug. 20, where a business forum took place at the Embassy salon.
The mission was put together by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Manila, and was led by Executive Director Cora Dela Cruz, with the business forum facilitated by Paul Tesseyman, president of the Canada Philippines Business Council (CPBC). Welcoming the delegation were DCM Norman Garibay, Consul General Eric Tamayo, and Minister Flerida Mayo, and leading a distinguished roster of speakers was Ian Faris, president and chief executive officer of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.
Joining Faris from the chamber was Kenny Leon, as well as ZakiMunshi, project manager for Asia of the Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFO Canada), Marti Falcone, regional manager for Asia of Export Development Canada (EDC), and Sophie Chen, Senior Business Development Manager, Greater China Market from Invest Ottawa.
The Philippine business mission was comprised by enterprises whose interests range from education and training, real estate, agri-food manufacturing and agri-business, packaging and labelling. The companies include ABI College, ABI Land Corporation, Agro-Industrial Cable Transport Inc., KCD Builders Corp., KCD Technical Institute, P.H. Espina Realty, PinoyCare Visa Center Inc., RAON Enterprises and RNF Summit Industries Corp.
The embassy provided a briefing highlighting the potential of 24/7 operations for Canadian companies through extended BPO and IT-enabled services in the Philippines, and opportunities in power generation and infrastructure development. Attention was drawn to the credit upgrades obtained by the Philippines that give boost to the country`s credit worthiness.
Faris assured the visiting delegation that their association stands ready to facilitate linkages and expressions of interest of the visiting delegation with the members of their association.
For his part, Munshi encouraged the heads of the enterprises present to take advantage of the services offered by TFOC in exporting products to Canada and for Philippine enterprises to tap into its network of over 1,500 business establishments, most of whom are keen on sourcing various products from overseas.
Falcone drew attention to the Customer Finance Guarantee Programs of the EDC. She indicated that the Philippines is indeed a true emerging market offering growing opportunities for Canadian exporters and investors. She reckoned that priority sectors presenting strong opportunity for Canadian companies include food processing, cleantech, pulp & paper, ICT and mining.
Chen highlighted the value proposition of Ottawa as a compelling destination and source for enterprises partnerships.
Philippines-Canada trade remained steady in 2013, with total trade standing $2.1 Billion. Philippine merchandise exports to Canada increased to $1.14 Billion, while imports from Canada reached about $600 million. Over 50% pf Philippine exports were electrical machinery and equipment, while the bulk of imports from Canada were meat and edible meat offal.