Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pres. Aquino leaves for Chicago, Canada

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday (May 6) left for a working visit to Chicago, the United States, and a state visit to Canada from May 6 to 9.

In his pre-departure speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City, the President said this trip aims to promote a more open and stronger trade relations between the Philippines and the US and Canada.

During his one-day working visit to Chicago on May 6, the Chief Executive will meet with leaders of large companies grouped in the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Council.

“Ang US nga po ang pangatlong major trading partner ng Pilipinas, at layon nating paigtingin pa ang pangangalakal na ito. Ngayong lumalago ang mga ekonomiya ng ating dalawang bansa, ihahayag natin ang kahandaang sulitin ang bawat pagkakataon kasama nila, at higit pang ipapakita na talagang more open for business na ang Pilipinas,” he said, adding that he will also meet with the Filipino community in Chicago to convey to them the fruits of four years of reform carried out by his administration.

The President further noted that at the invitation of Canada’s Governor General David Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he will make his first state visit to the country on May 7 to 9.

During the visit, he will witness the signing of various memoranda of understanding and take the opportunity to thank Canada for its support to the Philippines, especially for sending military personnel and medical aid during the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda; for doubling its official development assistance to $111.95 million in grants in 2014; and for naming the Philippines as a “Country of Focus” for various forms of bilateral assistance from Canada.

“Kaagapay rin natin ang Canada sa pagsusulong ng kapayapaan sa Mindanao, bilang bansang kasapi ng Independent Commission on Policing at para sa ibang uri ng tulong nila kaugnay ng pagpapaunlad sa kalagayan ng mga kapatid natin sa Bangsamoro," he added.

The President is also scheduled to meet with Canadian businessmen and Filipinos living and working in Toronto and Vancouver.

The Chief Executive departed at 8:20 a.m. on board Philippine Airlines flight PR 001.

He was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Presidential Management Staff Secretary Julia Abad, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario. (PCOO News Release)

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