Trudeau invites Marcos to visit Canada next year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 6) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invited President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to visit Canada next year during their bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on Wednesday, Malacañang said.

Trudeau extended the invitation to Marcos, as he noted that the Philippines and Canada are celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations in 2024.

“The trade ties, economic ties between our countries continue to grow, the opportunities for investment, the flow of people back and forth as well,” said the Canadian leader, as quoted by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) in a release.

Marcos told Trudeau that he is optimistic about the future of their countries’ ties and he could not see any obstacles to the “deepening” bilateral relations.

According to the PCO, the president also said "Canada’s shift towards the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific now is significant, particularly with the growing and evolving economies."

Inverted PH flag shown

Meanwhile, photos of the two leaders' meeting showed the Philippine national flag displayed upside down behind Trudeau.

An inverted Philippine flag — where the red field is on top of the blue — technically indicates a state of war.

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza clarified it "was an honest mistake that had nothing to do with our protocol officers."

“But the battle of the socks continues,” she added lightly, in apparent reference to the bright, patterned red socks worn by Trudeau and the more muted pair of blue worn by Marcos.

Marcos’ meeting with his Canadian counterpart in Jakarta, Indonesia was the third bilateral meeting between them since the former assumed the presidency last year.

The PCO said it was an opportunity for the Philippines and Canada to discuss cooperation on agri-science and urban agriculture, in view of Canada’s planned regional agriculture office in Manila.

It added that the meeting was also a chance for Manila to encourage trade and investments in clean, renewable energy and critical minerals exploration and processing, as well as to expand partnership in education and credentials recognition of Filipinos who wish to practice their professions in the North American country.