State Luncheon Hosted by Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet, President of the Republic of Chile
Santiago, Chile, Monday, December 1, 2014
Sharon and I, along with the entire Canadian delegation, are delighted to be here on this State visit to Chile.
I am also honoured to be the third consecutive governor general to visit your wonderful country.
President Bachelet, as you know, my direct predecessor, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, attended the inauguration of your first term as president in 2006. And in 2001, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson visited, as I do today, to strengthen the ties between our two countries.
Of course, there have also been many opportunities for Chileans to visit Canada. In 2008, Canadians were privileged to welcome you, President Bachelet, to Canada. And just last year, former president Piñera visited our country.
With this State visit, I hope to build on our similarities and on our historic people-to-people ties, as well as the more than 70 years of good relations between our nations.
Canada and Chile are like-minded and strategic partners in a number of important areas, such as democracy, human rights, and science and technology.
In addition, our trade and investment are growing and vital to both our nations. Chile was Canada’s number one destination for investment in Latin America in 2013, and eighth worldwide.
As well, we are working together to enhance security in the hemisphere, with our militaries—particularly our navies—sharing knowledge and best practices. We are, for example, collaborating in Haiti and in Central America.
But I would also like to speak about our potential to do so much more together, in areas such as education, and science and technology.
As a growing knowledge economy, Canada is in a position to address increasing demands for education and training, both domestically and internationally.
I have always maintained that one of the greatest educational experiences for a student—and for that matter, educators and administrators—is an international exchange. Canadian institutions have opened their doors to students from around the world—including a steady stream from Chile—and I would like to encourage more young people in Chile and Canada to consider reciprocal study opportunities.
I would also like to say how impressed I am with your dedication to building a sustainable innovation ecosystem, as well as your government’s commitment to improving access to high standard education in Chile.
In education, in science and technology, and in environmental and agricultural research, Canada is a willing and able partner with which to collaborate.
And it is our people, those in this room and those across both our lands, who will build on what we have accomplished together throughout our history.
I am hopeful that my visit here will uncover new opportunities for us to enhance our strategic partnership.
I would now like to raise a glass to our continued friendship and expanding relationship.