Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the following remarks in Santiago, Chile:
“I’m always delighted to be here.
“This is a country that continues to make just marvellous progress, and we’re so pleased to be a partner of Chile on so many issues throughout the hemisphere.
“As I said earlier, we like to think that from opposite ends of the hemisphere, we work together to make it all a better place, and President Piñera, it’s also been a great pleasure for me to have you as a colleague at various international summits.
“Your input is already widely respected by your fellow leaders, and as you were mentioning, it’s rare to have two economists running countries, and of course, even rarer to have two economists agreeing on many issues.
“This my second visit to Chile and I’m proud to see that our many ties, led particularly by our trade ties, continue to grow and deepen.
“Canada was the first country to sign a Free Trade Agreement with Chile.
“Likewise, back in 2006, Chile was one of only five countries that had such an agreement with Canada; now we’re up to 14.
“The benefits are plain to see for both countries, particularly when it comes to mining, energy, machinery, chemicals and banking.
“Over just 15 years, trade between Canada and Chile has increased 350 per cent.
“And Canada has been the largest source of new direct investment in Chile over the last decade.
“Today, President Piñera and I are pleased to announce a modernized Canada-Chile
Free Trade Agreement.
“This new deal will bring more trade, jobs and prosperity to both countries.
“We’re enhancing market access to financial services and improving provisions for dispute resolution, procurement and customs.
“This is all part of Canada’s ambitious trade agenda.
“I note with great appreciation the President’s support for Canada to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“As well, under the agreement signed today we agreed to work together on Central American security, wildlife preservation and aboriginal affairs.
“Once again, in closing, I’d like to thank you, President Piñera, and all the Chilean people for their warm greeting and hospitality on this visit.”