Cebu, Canadian business groups ink partnership deal
THE Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (CCCP) aiming to strengthen trade between Canada and the Philippines, particularly trade with Cebu.
The partnership between the two chambers is an opportunity to support more business developments in both countries, said Lito Maderazo, CCCI president during last Tuesday’s signing of the agreement.
Both chambers can help increase investments and trading relationships especially with the CCCP, Maderazo said.
The Cebu Chapter was set up in 2010 after the CCCP leadership realized that they had been too focused in Manila.
“Since then we have 15 members in the Cebu chapter. We have a total of about 250 members and about 50 are in Cebu,” said Julian Payne, CCCP president.
With the partnership, Payne said they are hoping to do more trade promotion between the two countries.
“With at least 25,000 Filipinos going to Canada every year, the knowledge about the Philippines by the Canadians is already high, and the expanding number of Filipinos in Canada is also a good market for traders here to tap,” said Payne.
For their first project, Payne said that they have already contributed at least P50,000 to CCCI for livelihood projects in areas hit by the calamities in Bohol, Cebu and Leyte.
Maderazo said they have partnered with the Cebu provincial government for the livelihood projects.
“The provincial government has set up different clusters, and we were tasked to head the livelihood and commerce cluster. We are now in the process of identifying specific projects for the cluster,” said Maderazo.
The CCCI has more than P1 million allocated for the livelihood project.
“We can also do other projects like trade missions, contact building, and promoting people mobility that will help grow trading volumes between the two countries,” he said.
People mobility means the movement of people between the two countries. It should be aided by direct flights to and from Canada not only in Manila but also in Cebu.
Payne said that the direct flights can encourage investors from both countries to visit and check opportunities that they can tap.
Areas of interest
Among the areas of interest for Canadian investors are mining, manufacturing, agribusiness and services.
“Processed agricultural products like dried mangos can be marketed to Canada. You only need to develop the market for these products there. Agribusiness has huge potential in Canada,” Payne said.
He also cited skilled manpower as an area that the Philippines can cater to in Canada especially caregivers and nurses who will tend to Canada’s aging population.
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