MANILA, Philippines – Visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Saturday he saw the Philippines as “an emerging Asian tiger,” echoing the bullish outlook on the country painted by political and business leaders in various parts of the world.
From the current US$1.5 billion total trade between Canada and the Philippines, Harper pledged increased investments in the country when he met with President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang before noon Saturday.
Speaking at a news conference, Harper did not cite specific amounts, but described the Philippines as an “important economic partner.”
Both he and Mr. Aquino witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on “Government-to-Government Transactions in Defense and Military-related Equipment, Materials and System and/or Services.”
“This will help us in our efforts to build our defense and security capabilities,” said Mr. Aquino, welcoming Canada’s help in the modernization of Philippine armed forces.
Both leaders also pledged their nations’ commitment to defense and trade cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges between Manila and Ottawa during a tete-a-tete in the Palace.