Meeting with the Mayor of Santiago
Santiago, Chile, Monday, December 1st, 2014
Thank you for welcoming me so warmly. And thank you, Mayor Toha, for honouring me with the Key to the City.
This key will, I hope, symbolically help us to further open the doors of collaboration and friendship between our two countries.
I would also like to thank you for bestowing upon me the title of “Illustrious Guest.”
What makes this even more special is being in the presence of so many friends of Canada here in Santiago.
This truly is a remarkable city.
As the capital of Chile, so much of your country’s culture, business, academia and history are found here. And, this particular section, this comuna of Santiago, is the historic core of a metropolitan area that is so central to the country’s economy; an astounding 45 per cent of Chile’s GDP is earned in your comuna.
Given its importance, I am delighted that my wife, Sharon, and the entire Canadian delegation could join me in exploring this city and meeting with its wonderful people.
Our two countries are already partnering in a number of ways, but I believe there is still so much more that we can do together.
Already, I have met with many here in Santiago who are contributing to this important dialogue between our two nations.
And again, I find myself in the company of like-minded and supportive individuals. All of you here know that to succeed and to grow in the 21st century requires us to look beyond borders, and to engage with the world.
By sharing our experiences and respective skills, Canadians and Chileans will be better poised to face 21st-century challenges.
Allow me to outline just some of the ways Canada is an ideal partner for Chile.
Canada is bolstered by world-renowned academic institutions, an advanced infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce.
Ours is also an innovative economy. We have experienced growth in business investment that is currently the strongest in the G-7, and Canada is consistently identified as the best G‑20 nation in which to do business.
We are also a leader in science, technology and innovation. While we are already doing great work together in this area, we want to work more closely with Chile, and with everyone here in Santiago, to create more collaboration links.
This key and the title with which you have honoured me today are symbols of our friendship and our already strong ties.
I look forward to continuing my State visit to Chile to discover even more ways to share knowledge and reinforce our mutual success.