Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks highlighting Canada and Italy’s close relationship
Hello, everyone. I’d like to begin by thanking Prime Minister Gentiloni and the Italian people for the incredibly warm welcome they’ve extended to me and to the entire Canadian delegation. It’s a pleasure to be here.
In the last few weeks Paolo and I have had the chance to meet on multiple occasions. First in Ottawa, then more recently at NATO and the G7, and we just wrapped up another productive meeting right here in Rome.
It was an opportunity for us not only to further strengthen the close partnership that has long existed between Italy and Canada but to talk about how we can work together to improve the lives of Italian and Canadian families.
First, we discussed the importance of trade. As you know, I was joined by business leaders on this trip. The visit was a good opportunity for us to discuss how we can expand opportunities and create good, well-paying middle class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic while working with our Italian partners.
In just a few weeks CETA will come into provisional application and this is great news for Europeans and Canadians. An ambitious and truly modern trade deal, CETA will reduce trade barriers between Canada and its European partners, making it cheaper for Canadian families to buy European products, and creating more opportunities for entrepreneurs to do business.
I’m pleased that CETA has recently taken another important step towards ratification in Italy, and we hope that the process will be completed as quickly as possible. The Prime Minister and I look forward to finalizing this progressive trade deal for the benefit of both Canadians and Europeans.
Second, we talked about our common approach to issues of regional and international security. Building on some of the conversations we had at the G7 Summit, we discussed the challenges Italy faces as migrants continue to arrive on its shores. I commend Italy for its commitment to support refugees and to help address the crises that have forced countless families out of their homes.
Third, the Prime Minister and I reiterated our commitment to fighting climate change. There is no doubt that global warming is the most pressing issue of our time and as international leaders, we must do more to make our economies greener and our planet cleaner. Italy and Canada, along with our partners, have already taken meaningful steps to address this by signing the Paris Agreement and we remain committed to its implementation.
And finally, I had the chance to visit the City of Amatrice during my time here in Italy. I saw firsthand the devastation caused by the earthquake and the rebuilding efforts that are currently under way. In the wake of those horrible events, the government of Canada announced just a few weeks ago that it would be donating up to $2 million in matching funds to help the people of Amatrice during this difficult time.
The support shown by the Italian-Canadian community to rebuild this beautiful town is a powerful reminder of the historic ties that unite our two countries and a testament to our longstanding friendship.
Our strong relationship is after all based on shared values like compassion and generosity, and it is in this spirit that we decided to step up, not only as strong allies but as friends.
Prime Minister Gentiloni and I will continue the work we’re doing together until the end of Italy’s G7 presidency. We will also continue working together during ours to resolve some of the most pressing challenges we’re facing, including the empowerment of women and girls. I am very much looking forward to hosting our G7 partners in Charlevoix next year for another successful summit.
Once again, I want to thank you all for joining us today, and I want to again thank the Italian people for their incredibly warm friendship and welcome.