Philippines Is a New Country of Focus for TFO Canada: What should be of interest to Importers
TFO Canada recently added Philippines to its roster of countries to receive services under the Canadian Market Access and Capacity Building Program. As part of its new relationship with the Philippines in October, TFO Canada’s Executive Director, Steve Tipman, and Project Manager for Asia, Zaki Munshi, conducted market visits to three cities of Cebu, Makati and Quezon where they held Exporting to Canada Seminars for an audience of 179 participants comprised of Filipino SME exporters and Trade Support Institutions (TSIs).
Why should you pay attention to the Philippines?
Profile with its Asian counterparts: The Asian Development Bank refers to the country as one of Southeast Asia’s most promising nations, with an average of 5% economic growth rate for the past 5 years (2010-2014). The Philippines is also a member of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Community.
Growing trade relations: Canada has a strong trade relationship with the Philippines, and both countries are currently exploring discussion on a bi-lateral free trade agreement (FTA). The table below shows a steady and constant increase in Canadian imports from the Philippines over the past five years, witha 25% growth from $881 million in 2010 to $1,182 millionin 2014. Since 1996, Canada has had a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protect Agreement with the Philippines. Both countries enjoy good diplomatic relations with embassies in each country (Philippines is covered by Canada’s Embassy in Malaysia).
A General Preferential Tariff (GPT) beneficiary country: The Philippines is a beneficiary country to the GPT which provides its goods a preferential (lower than normal) tariff rate when entering the Canadian market on approximately 80% of goods. This provides a competitive edge for importers in terms of pricing.
Immigration opens up opportunities in the ethnic food market: In 2010, the Philippines led the top 10 list of countries of birth by recent immigrants to Canada. Based on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Permanent Residents by top language, Tagalog (Filipino language) has replaced Mandarin as the most common language spoken among new immigrants to Canada. The 2011 household survey indicated there are 662,605 Filipinos living in Canada, offering potential new opportunities with to cater to their demand for ethnic-food.
For more information on trade opportunities in the Philippines: