5 August 2011
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will visit Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Honduras from August 8 to 12, 2011. During the official visit the Prime Minister will meet with foreign leaders and representatives from the private sector, and with Canadians in the region who are helping to increase economic prosperity, reinforce democratic governance and advance our common security.
The Prime Minister will be accompanied by: Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird; Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast; and Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), Diane Ablonczy. Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, Rona Ambrose, will accompany the Prime Minister during his visit to Brazil.
"Our government has focussed on expanding and enhancing market access to create jobs, economic growth and opportunities for Canadians. The Americas remain a key region of increasing economic prosperity and entrepreneurialism," said Prime Minister Harper. "Over the next few days, we will continue to further strengthen our economic ties, collaborate on shared areas of security and highlight our many successes to date in this important region."
During Prime Minister Harper’s third visit to Latin America in July 2007, he announced the Government’s strategy "Canada’s Engagement in the Americas", focussed on democratic governance, economic prosperity and security. In the region, our government has concluded several open skies and free trade agreements.
The Prime Minister will begin with his first official visit to Brazil on August 8 and 9, where he will meet with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the Governor of São Paulo State, Geraldo Alckmin. As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, Brazil is a major global economic player and a key commercial partner for Canada.
On August 10, Prime Minister Harper will visit Colombia and meet with President Juan Manuel Santos. The two countries have longstanding relations which have been strengthened by the signing of a free trade agreement.
On August 11, Prime Minister Harper will visit Costa Rica where he will meet with President Laura Chinchilla. Costa Rica is Canada’s largest trading partner in Central America and is a partner in many areas, including security and human rights.
Prime Minister Harper will conclude his trip in Honduras on August 12, where he will meet with President Porfirio Lobo and become the first leader to visit Honduras since its re-admission to the Organization of American States (OAS) in June of this year.