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PH, Canada to elevate bilateral relations amidst celebration of 75th anniv of diplomatic relations
PH, Canada to elevate bilateral relations amidst celebration of 75th anniv of diplomatic relations
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PH, Canada to elevate bilateral relations amidst celebration of 75th anniv of diplomatic relations
by Karen Ow-Yong09 May 2024
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly, met in Ottawa on Wednesday to discuss the “strong people-to-people ties that serve as the foundation of the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and Canada.” (Photo courtesy of DFA)

MANILA – The Philippines and Canada agreed to begin discussions on elevating its bilateral relationship, as the two countries celebrate the 75th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year, as well as discuss the prospective visit of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to Canada.

This is after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly, met in Ottawa on Wednesday to discuss the “strong people-to-people ties that serve as the foundation of the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and Canada.”

The two ministers also discussed about shared priorities, such as defense and security cooperation, maritime affairs, climate action, human rights, and economic resilience.

The DFA also said that the ministers reaffirmed the two countries’ shared commitment to upholding democracy, sovereignty, multilateralism, and emphasized the importance of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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During the same meeting, Minister Joly updated Secretary Manalo on the delivery of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy since its launch in November 2022, including the expansion of Canada’s electronic travel authorization program in the Philippines; the implementation of the Dark Vessel Detection program; the signing of a Canada-Philippines Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation; and the opening of the Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office in Manila.

Meanwhile, Manalo shared information on significant developments in the Philippines that will create new opportunities between the two countries, such as strides to develop the infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, improve human capital, and pursue the advancement of the country’s maritime law enforcement capabilities.

Both ministers also affirmed the two countries’ commitment to working together to uphold peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and welcomed further Canadian Armed Forces participation in multilateral exercises led by the Philippines and other partners.

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Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada hosts Sec. Manalo

Earlier, Secretary Manalo attended a special event hosted by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF) last May 7, 2024 to discuss “fostering closer ties and enhancing co-operation with Canada for the collective prosperity and stability of the Indo-Pacific.”

According to the APF, Vancouver will be the first stop on Secretary Manalo’s May 6-10 Canadian tour, which will also take him to Ottawa and Toronto for meetings with senior government officials, including a meeting with Minister Joly.

“The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is honoured to welcome Secretary Manalo to Vancouver – Canada’s gateway to Asia,” said APF Canada’s Vice-president of Research & Strategy, Vina Nadjibulla.

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“Secretary Manalo’s visit to Canada comes at a time of real momentum and tremendous opportunity in Canada-Philippines relations. The Philippines is a key bilateral and regional partner at the heart of Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy,” Nadjibulla stated.

Added Nadjibulla, “As maritime nations and fellow democracies, Canada and the Philippines share a similar outlook on regional and global security dynamics, including on the South China Sea, and are united by a commitment to maintaining a rules-based international order, upholding and protecting democracy, and combatting the adverse effects of climate change.”

In his keynote speech, Manalo welcomed Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and called it a “decisive step towards Canada’s more deliberate engagement in the region, including the Philippines.”

“I encourage Canada’s full-spectrum engagement beyond traditional areas such as defense. The Indo-Pacific confronts its most pronounced vulnerability in global warming, which threatens the very survival of millions [of] communities, especially in the small island developing states,” Manalo stated.

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“Likewise, the security and resilience of the Indo-Pacific encompasses integrated issues: from climate/disaster resilience and the preservation of our ecosystems, health systems, to our supply chains, and connected digital infrastructure, as well as mechanisms of dialogue, coordination and cooperation for stewarding growth that benefits all,” Manalo added.

Manalo also reiterated that the Philippines is invested as Canada and other partners in making the Indo-Pacific remain “as an engine of global growth and a hub for human flourishing.”

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Photo shows Secretary Manalo delivering his keynote address while attending a special event hosted by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF) last May 7, 2024 to discuss “fostering closer ties and enhancing co-operation with Canada for the collective prosperity and stability of the Indo-Pacific.” (Photo courtesy of DFA)

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