President’s Hall, Malacañan Palace
May 18, 2023
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. received The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, in a courtesy call at the President’s Hall in Malacañan Palace.
In their meeting, the President expressed his gratitude for the deepening people-to-people ties between the Philippines and Canada, with its growing population of Filipino immigrants, calling them the ‘happiest Filipinos abroad.’ Minister Joly expressed Canada’s intention to become a reliable partner of the Philippines.
She also conveyed support for Philippine maritime sovereignty, as well as Canada’s plan to provide agricultural support and cooperation, citing Canada’s future plan to open an agriculture headquarters in Manila to aid in the import and export processes between the two countries.
The Chief Executive highlighted the Philippines’ intention to explore non-traditional markets that the country has yet to actively involve in. Likewise, he mentioned the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) opening of agricultural markets among ASEAN Member Countries, including Canada as one of its ASEAN Partner Countries.
On the maritime issue, the President lauded Canada’s presence in the South China Sea, citing the instance of HMCS Calgary, a Canadian warship, sailing near the Spratly Islands in March 2021 amid heightened tensions in the disputed waters. The President recognized this move as Canada’s recognition of the crucial role of Asian countries in the global economy.
Minister Joly also sought the Philippines’ support for Canada to elevate its dialogue relations with ASEAN to a strategic level partnership, and to deepen collaboration in different initiatives set forward by the ASEAN Community.
Other topics included Canada’s initiative to improve immigration processes and facilities at their embassies, the opening of scholarship opportunities for Filipino students and further deepening of people-to-people ties.
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