|by H.E. Leslie B. Gatan Philippine Ambassador
|Philippines eyes Economic Collaboration
in the Canadian Maritimes
|Eric Gerardo E. Tamayo
First Secretary and Consul
Philippine Embassy, Ottawa
|Ottawa - “The Canadian Maritimes are brimming
with unprecedented economic activity.” This was the assessment
of Ambassador Leslie B. Gatan as he led an Embassy Economic Diplomacy
and Consular Mission to the Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia and
Newfoundland and Labrador.
According to Ambassador Gatan, the level of economic activity in the
Maritimes is such that it would have “the potential to radically
change the economic and demographic landscape of Eastern Canada.”
Historically dependent on a once vibrant fishing industry, economic
activity in the Maritime Provinces is now being propelled by a booming
oil and gas industry that is also spurring other economic activity
in the manufacturing and services sector across the region.
The proximity of offshore oil and natural gas production peaking in
the Hibernia, the Terra Nova and the White Rose oil fields -- with
another development underway just off Sable Island, are “all
literally fuelling economic activity that is driving population growth
and commercial development,” said Ambassador Gatan.
Almost in parallel with the oil sands boom in the Canadian Prairies,
the maritime area is being given a further boost by the shipbuilding
activity in the Halifax shipyards in Nova Scotia, which will be ground
zero for a 30-year US$25 Billion dollar military shipbuilding contract
from the Royal Canadian Navy. All these activities would generate
livelihood opportunities for Canadians in the region.
Ambassador Gatan and his team met with Provincial officials and officers
of the Boards of Trade at St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
and visited the facilities of Provincial Aerospace.
In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Ambassador Gatan and Team Canada visited
the highly regarded Halifax air and sea ports, toured Irving Shipyards
and held meetings with educational institutions such as the private
colleges association of the Nova Scotia at the Centre for Arts and
Technology, and meeting with the various Deans of Engineering, Agriculture
and maritime Studies at the Dalhousie University.
“In the event the Maritime Provinces would need help not only
from within Canada but also from without,” according to Ambassador
Gatan, “the Philippines stands ready to partner with the Maritimes.”
Ambassador Gatan received words of high regard for the work ethic
and the friendliness of Filipinos, as well as praise for the high
quality of work they perform, and welcomed the possibility of engaging
the services of Filipino manufacturing expertise and worker skills.
“We will pursue win-win collaborations to the extent possible,”
said Ambassador Gatan as he conveyed his “best wishes to the
people of the maritime provinces in their efforts to promote enhanced
levels of productivity and attain a higher quality of life.”
|Volume 10 No 9 - May 1-15, 2012
|Ang Peryodiko - The Newspaper For Overseas Filipino
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