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December 1, 2014
Statement by the Governor General of Canada in Santiago, Chile, in the Presence of President Bachelet
Santiago – Let me start by thanking President Bachelet for inviting my wife, Sharon and me to Chile for this State visit. We are delighted to be here.
We are also pleased to be joined by a delegation of talented and dedicated Canadians who share our goal of strengthening the relationship between our two countries.
Yesterday was our first full day in Chile, and we appreciated having the day to recover and get acquainted with beautiful Santiago after our long journey. Already, we have learned a lot about modern-day Chile and have experienced the warmth and wonderful hospitality of the people of this country.
Canada is committed to fostering lasting relationships in the Americas, and our long association with Chile is of great importance to us.
The President and I just had a very productive meeting where we discussed the strong ties between our countries.
Our two countries enjoy a strategic partnership based upon shared values and interests. Canada and Chile are committed to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, by which I mean the constant pursuit of justice.
We also aim to increase prosperity and well-being among all of our citizens. Since the signing of the Canada-Chile free trade agreement, our bilateral trade has more than tripled. Chile is Canada’s top investment destination in Latin America. We are the largest investor in mining as well as the largest source of new investment.
Our shared success comes with great responsibility. As two nations that are committed to the well-being of our citizens and the success of our hemisphere, Canada and Chile must ensure that the benefits of growth are shared, and that our business practices are both socially and environmentally responsible.
Canada is pleased to work with Chile to this end, as we both play a role in promoting responsible business practices, at home and abroad.
Canada and Chile also work together internationally. As Pacific nations, we see the tremendous advantages associated with expanding our ties with the Asia-Pacific region, and our governments are working together in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, as well as in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. Also, Canada was the first non-Latin country observer of the Pacific Alliance and we are exploring ways to work together in the context of that exciting initiative.
One area of considerable potential for stronger Canada-Chile ties is innovation, science and technology. Already, we enjoy a strong base of co-operation from which we can expand our work together, and I am pleased to note that Canada and Chile will sign an MOU to increase collaboration on science, technology and innovation issues during my visit. This MOU will see Canada’s International Development Research Centre and Science, Technology and Innovation Council work together with the Chilean National Innovation and Competition Council to establish a platform for research and innovation collaboration.
Canada is similarly committed to strengthening its academic ties with Chile. This includes increasing student flows in both directions, so that Canadian and Chilean students and researchers can learn together and explore new areas that will bring benefits to both societies.
Next year, Toronto will host the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan American Games, and Canada looks forward to welcoming athletes and visitors from Chile during this great sporting event. The Games will provide a wonderful opportunity to build and strengthen Canada’s ties with countries throughout the Americas.
Thank you again for welcoming us to this great country.
We come from north and south, but our two countries share much common ground. Together, let us continue to build smarter, more caring societies for the benefit of all peoples in Chile, in Canada and throughout the Americas.
Rideau Hall Press Office
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