CHICAGO, Illinois — A hectic schedule awaits President Benigno S. Aquino III as he embarks on a four-day state visit to Canada from May 7 to 9 aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and trade relations between the Philippines and Canada.
President Aquino, along with his official delegation, will proceed to Canada after his one-day working visit to Chicago, Illinois, on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila). The Chief Executive will visit Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
The President’s first stop will be Ottawa where he is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Canadian Governor General David Johnston. It will be followed by a ceremonial planting and a state dinner in honor of President Aquino at Rideau Hall.
On Friday, President Aquino will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and will witness the signing of agreements that will further enhance bilateral realtions between the two countries.
After the signing ceremony and joint press conference, President Aquino will also take a brief tour of the Library of Parliament and a working lunch with Prime Minister Harper.
On the same day, the President will proceed to Toronto to meet with the executives of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. It will be followed by a reception hosted by the Prime Minister for President Aquino and the Filipino community.
On Saturday morning, President Aquino will depart for Vancouver and will hold separate business meetings with the executives of Aquilini Investment Group, and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.
The President will then meet with British Columbia Premier Christy Clark at Pan Pacific Hotel. President Aquino will cap his visit in Canada with a meeting with the members of the Filipino community at the Vancouver Convention Center.
President Aquino’s state visit to Canada is a “reciprocation” of the visit of Prime Minister Harper to the Philippines in 2012. The visit is the first state visit of a Philippine President since former President Fidel V. Ramos’s visit in 1997.
Canada is the 21st largest trading partner of the Philippines, its 6th top source market for tourism, and is home to almost 700,000 Filipinos.