Aquino receives foreign ministers of New Zealand, Canada-A A +A
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday received in Malacañang two foreign ministers from New Zealand and Canada who were both invited by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.
Aquino first received Foreign Minister New Zealand Murray McCully at the Music Room of the Malacañang Palace where they discussed the advancement of economic ties and various areas of cooperation between Philippines and New Zealand.
Aquino and McCully exchanged views on important issues of concern including the efforts to further strengthen the cooperation of both countries in the fields of defense, geothermal energy, dairy industry, labor, development cooperation, environment and disaster preparedness and mitigation.
It was McCully's first visit to the Philippines as New Zealand's Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Joining McCully during the courtesy call were New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Reuben Levermore, acting director of Southeast Asia-Ministry of Foreign Affairs Stephen Harris, New Zealand Embassy in the Philippines Deputy Head of Mission Andy White, Incoming Deputy Head of Mission of New Zealand Embassy in the Philippines Justin Allen, Defense Attaché Captain Wilson Trumper, and Minister McCully's private secretary Amanda Vercoe.
For the Philippine side, also present were Secretary del Rosario, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro and Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Virginia Benavides, among others.
The Philippines and New Zealand have been enjoying 46 years of bilateral relations.
After McCully's courtesy call, Aquino then met with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird also at the Music Room.
Minister Baird is in the country for a four-day visit that would involve talks with major business groups of the Philippines to broaden the political and economic interests in the region.
Accompanying Minister Baird were Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Christopher Thornley, Consul and Trade Commissioner Robert McCubbing, Political Counselor James Christoff and Executive Assistant to the Minister Jonathan Ballingall.
The Department of Foreign Affairs noted that the year 2012 marks the 63rd year of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Canada, which was established in December 1949.
Since the year 2010, the DFA further said that the Philippines had been Canada's largest source of immigrants and temporary workers, with more than 842,741 Filipinos living in Canada. It said that the Filipinos comprised of a mixture of former Filipinos who have acquired Canadian citizenship, permanent migrants, live-in caregivers, nurses and other professional and skilled workers.
In 2011, remittances from Filipinos in Canada amounted to $2.07 billion or 10.3 percent of total remittances for the year, it added. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)