Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will attend the sixth Summit of the Americas from April 14 -15, 2012, in Cartagena, Colombia. He will be accompanied by Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americasand Consular Affairs).
"Given the fragile state of the global economy, it is imperative that real progress be achieved on trade and investment liberalization in the Americas and beyond,” said Prime Minister Harper. "I look forward to working with Summit leaders towards enhancing trade flows and security in the hemisphere, making it a safer, more prosperous place to live.”
At this year’s Summit – the theme of which is “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity” – leaders will explore how to advance prosperity in the hemisphere by working more closely and effectively together on security issues, mitigating the effects of disasters, alleviating poverty and inequality, and increasing access to information and communication technologies.
The Summit of the Americas brings together the democratically-elected leaders of 34 countries throughout the hemisphere and is a vital forum to forge consensus on ways to overcome common challenges.
During his visit, the Prime Minister will also participate in the Americas Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Summit where he will be promoting Canada as a trading nation and investment destination of choice and a key partner for the development and sustainable management of resources.
Prime Minister Harper will also travel to Chile on April 16, 2012. The visit will serve to deepen the strong ties that already exist between Canada and Chile in areas such as commerce, human rights and democratic governance, peace and security, education and youth mobility. The visit comes as both countries celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement.