Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Delivers Remarks During Mexican Presidential Visit
Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us today.
I’d like to begin by extending a warm welcome to a friend of Canada, President Pena Nieto of Mexico. During last year’s election we put forward a plan for Canadians that would change both the things we do and the way we do them. This included taking a more collaborative approach with our North American partners. And I'm extremely happy to have President Peña Nieto join us in Ottawa this week during his state visit and for the North American Leaders’ Summit.
The importance of the Canada - Mexico relationship cannot be overstated. We have a long, close history built on mutual respect, cooperation and trust. And it is my hope that through meetings like this one, we will be able to further strengthen that relationship in the years ahead.
Mexico is a key partner for Canada. Its labour force is young, and its energy sector and middle class are growing rapidly. Each year over two million Canadians travel to Mexico to holiday, visit friends and family and, increasingly, to conduct business. And each year, Canada welcomes tens of thousands of Mexican visitors and students.
We share more than just a continent. We share values, goals, and ambitions, not only for our respective citizens, but for all members of the global community, and we’re prepared to take action in ways that will make a real difference in people’s lives. Following a productive bilateral meeting, I'm happy to share a few of the concrete results.
First, I'm very pleased to announce that on December 1st, 2016, Canada will lift the Mexican visa requirement that has restricted travel to Canada. We’ll be working very closely with Mexican officials over the coming months to prepare for this change. This move will make it easier for our Mexican friends to visit Canada, while growing our local economies, and strengthening our communities.
I’m also very happy to announce that Mexico has agreed to open their domestic market to all Canadian beef products. This is a move that will support Canadian farmers and Canadian families.
I can also share that Canada and Mexico have today signed a memorandum of understanding to expand cooperation on indigenous issues. This is an important step in an overall effort to improve the quality of life for indigenous communities in our countries.
One specific initiative will give indigenous people, especially women, greater access to education with the ultimate goal of stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship locally. The President and I also discussed the need to uphold human rights, advance democracy and the rule of law, and ensure respect for diversity as well as the ways in which we can work together to achieve these important goals.
And just today, we formalized our international development cooperation, with a special emphasis on Central America and the Caribbean. Together we identified a number of development projects focusing on climate change, indigenous issues, vector-borne diseases and risk reduction, and disaster planning and response. These are but a few of the major agreements we finalized today after months of hard work and close cooperation.
So let me end by saying this. I believe that the future of Canada - Mexico relations is bright. By working together in mutual respect and cooperation we will renew this friendship for the benefit of our people.
We will work hard towards a stronger, more prosperous Canada, a stronger, more prosperous Mexico, and a stronger, more prosperous North America. And we’ll do it as we’ve always done: as partners and as friends.
Thank you very much.