6 October 2012 – Against the backdrop of Canada’s fastest growing provincial economy, members of Team Philippines-Canada (TPC) convened in Edmonton, Alberta on 6 October 2012 for the annual Economic Diplomacy Workshop of Philippine foreign service posts in Canada.
Led by Ambassador Leslie B. Gatan, workshop participants included officers of the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, the Philippine Consulates General in Toronto and Vancouver and their Labor Attachés, Department of Tourism representatives based in Chicago and San Francisco, and the Agriculture Attaché holding office in Washington, D.C.
Honorary Consul General Esmeralda Agbulos extended logistical support to TPC, together with members of the Filipino community in Edmonton.
Ambassador Gatan and Minister Neil Ferrer opened the workshop with an overview of Philippine economic interests in Canada. First Secretary Eric Tamayo followed through with a presentation on the outlook for the Philippine economy.
TPC also benefitted from briefings on Philippine agribusiness in Canada by Dr. Josyline Javelosa, Philippine tourism promotion by Director Vernie Verlarde-Morales, Philippine medical tourism by First Secretary Flerida Ann Camille P. Mayo and an overview of Philippine Labor and Migration by Atty. Bernardino Julve.
At the end of day, TPC laid guideposts for economic diplomacy thrusts across Canada in 2013. Among areas that will require TPC’s focus are employment prospects for Filipino labor and the protection of temporary workers, agribusiness and investments that foster inclusive economic growth and food security, and the promotion of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects. To better market Philippine destinations, seminars and familiarization visits for tour operators as well as a pilot TPC Tour are in the offing.
“In all our economic diplomacy initiatives, we derive our mandate from the President’s Social Contract with the Filipino people and the three pillars of Philippine foreign policy. Team Philippines-Canada follows the lead of Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario in reaching beyond our grasp to serve our country’s best interests in Canada,” Ambassador Gatan affirmed.