Canada Trade Mission to the Philippines


Join us in the Philippines!

Dates: May 24 to 28, 2015
Cities: Manila and Cebu
Focus sectors:

  • Agriculture and processed foods (Manila, Cebu)
  • Defence and security (Manila)
  • Information and communications technologies (Manila)
  • Infrastructure (Manila)
  • Sustainable technologies (Manila)

Led by:

  • The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
  • Senator Tobias C. Enverga Jr.

Registration is closed.

Led by International Trade Minister, Ed Fast, the Trade Commissioner Service is organizing a Trade Mission to Manila and Cebu, Philippines, May 24 – 28, 2015. This will be a significant, multi-sector mission highlighting the breadth of business opportunities in the Filipino market and the benefits for Canadian businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises.

Why participate?

This trade mission is part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to help Canadian businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, better position themselves to capitalize fully on the opportunities that exist in foreign markets to develop their full export potential. It will facilitate access to key local economic and political decision-makers for Canadian firms and provide greater public profile to business participants, helping them build or enhance their network with the local business community and the region.

Canadian organizations in the following sectors of opportunity are encouraged to register:

Agriculture and processed foods | Defence and security | Information and communications technologies | Infrastructure | Sustainable technologies

Overview of the market

The Philippines is a priority market under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP), the government’s blueprint for creating jobs and economic growth through trade, with broad interests in key sectors such as infrastructure, sustainable technologies, defence and security, information communications technology, and agriculture. The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with more than 6% expected growth in the coming years.  In 2014, Canada-Philippines bilateral merchandise trade reached C$1.8 billion, up 2.5 percent over 2013. Canadian merchandise exports to the Philippines were C$569.5 million. Major Canadian exports include: mineral ores, wood and meat, while key imports are electrical machinery and equipment, machinery, and rubber. In 2014, Canadian merchandise imports from the Philippines were about C$1.24 billion.

Trade between Canada and the Philippines continues to grow steadily. The present government has demonstrated its commitment to fostering a business friendly environment by focusing on fighting corruption and introducing reforms such as lowering the corporate tax rate and reducing the time and cost to trade by improving its electronic customs systems by adding such functions such as electronic payments and online submission of declarations. Infrastructure deficits are being addressed as evidenced by a number of airports, expressway, mass transit and light rail projects being planned. Ample opportunities therefore exist and an effective strategy to realize market potential is by carefully identifying and collaborating with strong local partners.

Sector information

Agriculture and processed foods

In 2014, Canada’s total agri-food exports to the Philippines were valued at C$183.6 million. Top exports included meat (pork and pork offal), cereals, and dairy products. The Philippines contributed C$148.2 million to Canada’s total agri-food imports, led by fats and oils, fruits and nuts, and prepared vegetables. 

The Philippines has recently emerged as one of the most rapidly growing agri-food markets in the Asian region. The country is characterized by various factors, including its growing young affluent population, rising disposable income and rising consumer awareness regarding health and safety concerns. In addition, demographic changes in the Philippines are leading towards a growing under-30 population that is increasingly leading a westernized lifestyle.  Their growing taste for North American style packaged, processed, and convenience food will become an extremely lucrative target market for Canadian agri-food exporters in the future.

See market report for more information

Who should participate?

  • Meat exporters
  • Feed / Wheat / grains / pulses companies
  • Livestock genetics
  • Manufacturers and exporters of processed foods (including health related agri-food products)
Defence and security

Legislation enacted in 2012 provided the equivalent of C$ 1.9 billion in capital upgrade for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Programme. A number of Canadian companies are pursuing opportunities under the programme, supported by a Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) – Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) on procurement signed in 2012. Philippine President Benigno Aquino has proposed a 2015 defence budget of PHP115.5 billion (C$3.27 billion), which according to official figures is a 29% increase over military spending in 2014.

Canada is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities in defence and security through the MOU between CCC and the Philippine DND. The MOU facilitated the successful conclusion of the first government-to-government (G2G) transaction for the supply of eight Bell Helicopters valued at C$120 million to the Philippine Air Force in March 2014. The MOU is the same instrument that will be used in pursuing other projects with AFP’s Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army and Philippine Navy. The Bell Helicopters’ contract is seen as a prelude to more defence and security contracts which can be transacted by CCC on a G2G basis. In addition to opportunities with DND, there are other potential projects worth exploring with the Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine National Police.

See market report for more information

Who should participate?

  • Defence equipment manufacturers
  • Defence transport companies
  • Tactical communications systems manufacturers
Information and communications technologies

According to the Philippine Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), the ICT sector will represent US$50 billion (C$63 billion) worth of revenues by 2016. Consolidation in the telecommunications sector, combined with continued growth in mobile telephone demand, is driving investment by telecommunication service providers, presenting direct and indirect supply opportunities for Canadian firms that supply to telcos. A significant number of Canadian ICT firms are actively chasing potential opportunities offered by the country’s top two telecommunication companies, namely PLDT/Smart and Globe. There is an emerging demand for mobile advertising and payment, e-commerce solutions, enterprise apps, customer experience engagement, and network virtualization in the Philippines.

See market report for more information

Who should participate?

Companies that provide solutions to communications service providers, especially but not limited to the following areas:

  • Network Optimization and Enhancement;
  • Billing & provisioning/Service Bundling/Cloud Infrastructure – IaaS, PaaS
  • Customer Experience Management (Analytics – big data)
  • Application Development Solutions
  • M2M / Internet of Things
  • Enterprise solutions: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), security, SaaS

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional bloc whose member countries continue to enjoy strong economic growth and interest from Canadian companies. Prospects remain strong as an infrastructure boom, buoyed by Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) opportunities, is expected to continue. The ASEAN Connectivity agenda continues to be a priority for ASEAN leaders. C$ 15.9 trillion in infrastructure expenditures are expected to happen in the next 20 years in the greater Asia-Pacific area, especially in the areas of urban infrastructure and transportation, particularly in rail. Prospects remain strong in other infrastructure subsectors, as well, such as green building, & sustainable urban planning.  

With the exception of Brunei & Singapore, the state of infrastructure leaves much to be desired in most of Southeast Asia. This presents many economic opportunities for Canadian companies from the onset of the infrastructure value chain (consultancy, planning, and design) to the actual implementation of the infrastructure projects and the provision of goods and equipment. While these infrastructure projects are for the most part funded by national government budgets, some funding is available through International Financial Institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and World Bank and private sector engagement particularly through the PPP process.

In the Philippines, multimillion dollar infrastructure opportunities are mainly tied to PPP projects and are best suited to Canadian businesses in the areas of airports and rail transportation. Furthermore, as a leader in PPP development among the ASEAN member states, the Philippines offers an established market for companies in this sector.  

See market report for more information

Who should participate?

  • Infrastructure and procurement value chain companies (consultancy, planning, design)
  • Green building and sustainable urban planning
Sustainable technologies

The sustainable technologies sector includes power, alternative fuels, renewable energy (RE), water and wastewater, industrial processes, and energy efficiency. The sector has shown great potential in the recent years, especially the RE sub-sector, in view of the country’s strong economic performance, limited resources,  and increased awareness of the adverse effects of climate change. The Philippines looks to non-hydro RE sources including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and run-of-river-hydropower systems to address increasing energy demand.

The continued economic growth of the Philippines not only increases the need for a stable, economic and sustainable energy supply but also the need for ecological and responsible waste management system, as well as the development and institutionalization of septage and sewerage management systems. This represents opportunities for Canadian firms that specialize in these areas.

See market report for more information

Who should participate?

  • Renewable energy companies (hydropower, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal)
  • Waste and wastewater companies (leak detection, water instrumentation, wastewater treatment)
  • Companies with waste-to-energy expertise/technologies (solid waste management)

Business Program

*All events and times are subject to change

PDF Version (141 KB)

Manila, Cebu (Full program)

Manila - Sunday, May 24, 2015


  • Business Briefing
    An economic, sector and political overview of the Philippines, review of the program and highlight important logistical details.
    (Canadian trade mission delegates only)
  • Business Roundtable led by the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade followed by group photo
    Delegates will have an opportunity to have direct interaction with the Minister with all companies providing a brief overview of their company and objectives for the trade mission.
    (Canadian trade mission delegates only)
  • Welcome Reception
    This is an informal meet-and-greet for all trade mission delegates, Minister and Embassy/DFATD officials.
    (Canadian trade mission delegates only)

Manila - Monday, May 25, 2015


  • Set-up tables for Export Café
  • “How to Be Successful in the Philippine Market” – Sector Breakout Sessions
    The breakout sessions will consist of sector-specific market briefings on opportunities, challenges and trends in the Philippine market, overview of key players, and tips for success.
    Sessions:  Agriculture & Processed Foods, Defence & Security, ICT, Infrastructure, Sustainable Technologies
    (Canadian trade mission delegates only)
  • Forum/Interactive Panel Discussion
    Topic:  Canada and the Philippines – Opening Doors for Increased Commercial Relations (TBC)
    Delegates will hear from a panel that may consist of key political decision-makers, local business representatives and/or Canadian firms currently doing business in the market.
    (Canadian trade mission delegates and local business representatives)


  • Business Networking Luncheon
    (Canadian trade mission delegates and local business representatives)
  • Export Café / B2B meetings
    Filipino companies that could be considered potential buyers, distributors or joint venture partners will be invited to attend the Export Café. The B2B component of the mission will be carried out during this event. Each Canadian organization in the delegation will be assigned a table to showcase their products/services to Filipino stakeholders, as well as to function as the B2B meeting place.
    (Canadian trade mission delegates and local business representatives)


  • Business Networking Reception
    (Canadian trade mission delegates and, local business and government representatives)

Manila - Tuesday, May 26, 2015


  • Sectoral Outreach:  B2B meetings (off-site) / Site Visits


  • Lunch at own leisure
  • Sectoral Outreach:  B2B meetings (off-site) / Site Visits
  • Manila Program Wrap-Up Session with Minister Fast
    This wrap-up session will be for delegates not traveling to Cebu. Delegates will have an opportunity to provide their feedback with respect to the overall trade mission and hear from the Minister on the outcome of his visit to Manila.
    (Canadian trade mission delegates only, except for those delegates in the Agriculture sector traveling to Cebu)


  • Agriculture & processed foods delegates to travel to Cebu

Cebu - Wednesday, May 27, 2015


  • Forum/Interactive Panel Discussion
    Topic:  Enhancing Bilateral Trade Relations with Canada in Agriculture and Agri-food (TBC)
    Delegates will hear from a panel that may consist of key political decision-makers, local business representatives and/or Canadian firms currently doing business in the market.
    (Canadian trade mission delegates and local business representatives)
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Roundtable
    Canadian delegates will participate in a roundtable meeting with local agriculture and agri-food companies and industry association heads/representatives based in Cebu.
    (Canadian trade mission delegates and local business representatives)


  • Business Networking Luncheon
    (Canadian trade mission delegates and local business representatives)
  • B2B meetings / Site Visit
    Pre-arranged B2B meetings organized as per options provided to delegates by the service provider or site visit if applicable.
    (Canadian trade mission delegates and local business representatives)


  • Wrap-Up Session with Minister Fast
    Delegates will have an opportunity to prove their feedback with respect to the overall trade mission and hear from the Minister on the outcome of his visit.
    (Canadian trade mission delegates only – Agriculture sector)

Cebu - Thursday, May 28, 2015


  • Program TBC

Travel Information


It is your responsibility to make your own travel arrangements, including all air and ground transportation to and from the airport (unless otherwise noted in the business program). Please make sure to purchase cancellation insurance and/or a refundable ticket, in the event that the dates of the mission change.

Travel Requirements

Consult the latest Country Travel Advice and Advisories for the Philippines. The Government of Canada’s official travel advice includes essential information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues, including important travel health information under the Health tab.

Sign up for the Registration of Canadians Abroad service before leaving Canada, so we can contact and assist you in case of an emergency abroad or inform you about an emergency at home.

If you need consular assistance, while abroad, your first point of contact should be the closest Canadian government office – the Embassy of Canada in Manila. Contact information can be found in the Assistance tab in the Travel Advice and Advisories. The Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 613-996-8885 (collect calls accepted) or by email at

Are you interested?

Registration is closed.