MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has accepted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invitation to visit Canada in 2024.
The two governments are now in talks for a specific date, although Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Hartman said Friday that the visit would likely happen "in the latter part of the calendar year" to accommodate Marcos' available schedule.
“We will welcome President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on a state visit to Ottawa and other cities across Canada in the interest of deepening our ties at the very highest level to prioritize our work together and to chart an ambitious way forward,” he said during the inaugural Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Ambassadors’ Lecture Series in Pasay City.
Trudeau extended the invitation to Marcos on the sidelines of the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Jakarta last September.
Marcos’ trip would also coincide with the two states’ celebration of the 75th Canada-Philippine diplomatic relations anniversary next year.
Hartman expects increased engagements between Canada and the Philippines in the coming years, citing interest from both sides to expand cooperation on defense, food security, energy, addressing climate change and investment, among others.
“The ambition and commitment I see on both sides to capitalize on the opportunities before us is both clear and it is compelling,” he said.
Hartman said he also banks on the two states' shared interests and values in forging closer relations that respond well to the instability that characterized the 21st century.
“I take tremendous confidence in the temperance, the probity, and the mutual respect that has characterized partnership between our two great countries,” he said.
“The investments we have made in each other, the trust we have built with each other, and the understanding that we have fostered between our peoples have positioned us well to respond together onto the challenges of our age,” he added.
In his remarks during the lecture, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said “the Philippines deeply values Canada's commitment, both in words and actions, which reinforces the enduring bond between our nations.”
“Canada's support is evident through a myriad of programs, funding initiatives, and tangible efforts dedicated to upholding the rules-based international order,” he said.
Manalo said noteworthy developments, such as the establishment of the ASEAN-Canada Strategic Partnership and Canada's opening of a visa-processing center in Manila, are paving the way towards a more meaningful and impactful collaboration, "especially in the face of complex challenges confronting the region and our respective countries." (PNA)