Harper to sign Philippines defence agreement

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper reviews troops upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino...

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper reviews troops upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila November 9, 2012. (Reuters/CHERYL RAVELO)

DAVID AKIN, Parliamentary Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 9:21 PM ET

MANILA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III will sign an agreement here Saturday aimed at boosting exports by Canadian defence and security firms.

Harper and Aquino are scheduled to meet for about 40 minutes Saturday, after which they will participate in a signing ceremony.

Both the Philippine and Canadian governments said in a release that the Canadian government will guarantee contracts signed between the government of the Philippines and the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the federal agency which helps facilitate international trade on behalf of Canadian firms. The agreement goes into effect immediately.

During his day in Manila, Harper and his wife Laureen will lay a wreath at the Rizal Monument, a memorial to the 19th century Filipino nationalist and martyr Jose Rizal.

The two will also attend an official lunch at the Malacanan Palace, the official residence of the Filipino president.

The Harpers will spend the afternoon touring Fort Santiago, one of the most important historical sites in Manila. Construction was started on the fort in 1590, and the building was the main defence establishment for the spice trade between the Americas and Europe for more than 300 years.

Harper will conclude his day with a meeting of business leaders here.

The Harpers end their week-long swing through Asia on Sunday in Hong Kong at a Remembrance Day ceremony at Sai Wan Cemetery, the final resting place for Canadians killed defending Hong Kong in the Second World War.


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