PM announces visit to South America

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will undertake visits to Peru and Colombia from May 21 to 24, 2013. During the visits, he will meet with leaders, representatives from the private sector and Canadians who are helping to increase economic prosperity, reinforce democratic governance and advance common security in the region. While in Colombia, the Prime Minister will attend the Pacific Alliance Leaders’ Summit taking place in Cali.

“Canada is committed to increasing trade with the Americas to create economic opportunities for Canadians and people throughout the hemisphere,” said the Prime Minister. ”I look forward to working with our partners in the Americas to achieve these goals, and address shared security and development challenges.”

The Prime Minister will meet with President Ollanta Humala Tasso in Lima, Peru on May 22. Discussions will focus on deepening the overall bilateral partnership, which includes economic cooperation, development cooperation, education and defence. Since the entry into force of the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement in 2009, Peru has continued to grow as a key market for Canada in the Americas. The country is Canada’s third-largest bilateral trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean after Mexico and Brazil, and the third largest destination for Canadian direct investment in South and Central America.

On May 22-23, Prime Minister Harper will attend the Pacific Alliance Leaders’ Summit in Cali, Colombia, where he will discuss issues of economic importance to the hemisphere, including trade and investment.

The Pacific Alliance is a grouping of four of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies: Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. It was launched in April 2011 to facilitate the free movement of goods, services, capital and people among member countries, and to strengthen their trade and investment ties with Asia. Canada has bilateral free trade agreements with all the founding members of the Pacific Alliance. Canada became an observer to the Pacific Alliance in October 2012.

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