Minister Ng concludes productive visit to the Philippines – deepening trade, investment, and people-to-people ties

September 20, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada


Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, concluded her visit to the Philippines – as the first trade minister of any country to visit the Philippines since the inauguration of the new administration.


During her trip, Minister Ng highlighted that people of Filipino heritage make important contributions to communities across Canada, and that the Government looks forward to deepening people to people ties and the trade and investment relationship between Canada and the Philippines, including through the negotiation of a free trade agreement with ASEAN and the recently launched Canada-Philippines Joint Economic Commission.


Minister Ng also announced $12 million in funding for 3 new development assistance projects on behalf of the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada. These initiatives focus on supporting the Philippines’ efforts to strengthen its climate finance mechanisms, and achieve lasting peace and development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. This funding builds on the newly created $1 million Canada-ASEAN trust fund that Minister Ng announced at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting last month.


As part of Canada’s efforts to deepen its trade and investment with the Philippines, Minister Ng highlighted opportunities for Canadian companies to invest in the Philippines’ infrastructure and affirmed the significant progress made on initiatives underway in the region to establish Canada as the optimal partner for infrastructure projects. The Minister’s CANbuild infrastructure framework, which combines the expertise and services of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and Export Development Canada into one consolidated offering, will support Canadian companies to deliver meaningful and sustainable infrastructure projects for local communities and create jobs.


In Manila, Minister Ng also met with various Filipino business leaders, including women entrepreneurs and the Chief Executive Officer of Jollibee Ernesto Tanmantiong, to create additional opportunities for inclusive trade and investment, including in important sectors such as green technology, agriculture, and infrastructure. She also met with the President of the Asian Development Bank, Masatsugu Asakawa.


Canada has been, and always will be, a strong regional partner in Southeast Asia, providing $3.7 billion in development funds since 2000 to help advance social well-being across the region, including in the Philippines. Inclusive growth and human rights lie at the core of Canada’s trade policies and engagements.



“Canada is home to nearly one million people of Filipino descent, and I’ve seen first hand how their hard work and creativity contribute to vibrant communities across the country. While we support Filipino-Canadians at home, we are also strengthening ties with the Philippines. Through my first visit to the Philippines, our government is deepening our people-to-people ties and creating more opportunities for business, investment, and trade.”


- Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development



  • The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia, creating significant trade and investment opportunities for Canada. 
  • In 2021, Canada-Philippines bilateral merchandise trade totalled $2.8 billion, up from $2.1 billion in 2020.
  • In May 2022, Canada and the Philippines signed an MOU establishing a Joint Economic Commission. 
  • The Philippines is the first market in which the government-to-government CANbuild infrastructure framework will be implemented.
  • The Philippines is Canada’s second most important export market in ASEAN. 
  • Canada and ASEAN launched negotiations towards a free trade agreement in 2021, and just held the first round of negotiations this August.
  • Today, nearly one million people of Filipino descent live in Canada. 
  • In 2021, the Philippines was Canada’s third largest source of immigration.
  • The Philippines was Canada’s third largest source of foreign students for the first half of 2022. 






Office of the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development