TACLOBAN CITY - Canada hopes to increase shipment of goods to the Philippines to $700 million this year, Ambassador Neil Reeder said during a recent visit here.
"We're looking at increasing export of products that are more resilient. We can provide solid wood that can stand up to natural disasters," Mr. Reeder said in an interview at the sidelines of a presentation on Canada's post-Yolanda response.
exports to the Philippines reached $593 million last year from $527.9 million in 2012.
Mr. Reeder said his office has observed growing interest in Canadian softwood lumber as an alternative to coconut lumber. Softwood lumber was Canada's number one export to the Philippines last year, with a value of $93.8 million.
Mr. Reeder said softwood lumber exports are expected to rise this year as disaster reconstruction continues in the Philippines.
Other top Canadianexports were wheat and meslin ($79.8 million), copper ores and concentrates ($73.6 million), pork ($53.4 million), and mineral or chemical fertilizers ($35.5 million).
"The agri-food sector alone increased by 40%, reinforcing the Philippines' position as our second largest agri-food market in Southeast Asia," Mr. Reeder noted.
Two-way trade between Canada and the Philippines increased 15% annually to $1.7 billion last year. "I expect that total value of two-way trade should hold, but I cannot predict what it will be for the end of 2014," he added.
imported $1.13 billion of goods from the Philippines. Its top five imports were insulated wire, conductor and optical fibre cables ($319.6 million); electronic integrated circuits ($144.9 million); other optical appliances, devices and instruments ($59.7 million); rubber ($57.5 million); electrical transformers, static converters and inductors ($44.7 million).
Canadian Minister for International Trade Edward Fast will visit the Philippines next week to pave the way for trade missions on agriculture, food, and information and communication technology.