Remarks by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the APEC Conference in Lima, Peru
November 20, 2016
I’d like to begin by thanking our hosts, President Kuczynski and the people of Peru, for such a warm welcome. This summit was a chance for APEC members to tackle the challenges facing the (global opportunity and to seize) global community and to seize the opportunities that lie ahead.
The central theme of our discussions this weekend was the need to encourage freer trade in the Asia-Pacific region. We know that increased economic cooperation has the potential to expand new opportunities for business owners, help create well-paying middle-class jobs and to increase prosperity. As leaders, we must work together to break down trade barriers and introduce business-friendly regulations that will fuel growth. This is especially important to the success of small- and medium-size enterprises, which could benefit from increased access to international markets in a number of key sectors like technology and infrastructure.
But we know that creating an economic environment where businesses can thrive just isn’t enough. Economic growth can and must deliver positive results for everyone.
Today, I’m pleased to announce that the Government of Canada has made progress on three key areas to do just that.
First, we agree on the need to work together to ensure that free trade agreements are fair for all parties. Yesterday, Minister Freeland announced Canada’s intention to promote trade and investment abroad while fighting poverty using the expert deployment mechanism for trade and development. Experts from Canada and around the world will work with developing countries to ensure that trade agreements are fair and equitable. These experts will be able to offer assistance to government representatives throughout the process, from negotiation to ratification.
Second, we discussed the importance of helping workers seize business opportunities around the world. Canada and Peru were pleased to announce earlier this weekend that we have concluded a convention on social security between Canada and the Republic of Peru. This agreement will make it easier to do business abroad by allowing workers to spend part of their careers in both countries and still benefit from their pensions.
Third, we’re redoubling efforts to ensure that all citizens can be equal participants in building economies that benefit everyone, and that includes women, youth and marginalized groups. On behalf of the Government of Canada, Minister Dion announced two new initiatives. In partnership with UNICEF, Canada will invest nearly $20 million over seven years to make education more accessible to vulnerable teenagers in Peru. This initiative will help young people acquire the skills they need for the jobs of the future. We will also make investments to help modernize Peru’s public service to ensure that all citizens, including members of Indigenous communities, have better access to government services.
And finally, this summit was a chance for me to engage directly with many of our partners including Australia, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, the US and Vietnam. We talked about the need for greater cooperation on a wide range of issues, especially on the economic front. We know that trade can have a positive impact on middle-class families and those working hard to join it. But at the same time, we realize that it is our job to make sure that the benefits of growth are felt by all, that it is our job to ensure that all citizens have a real and fair chance at success. It is our duty to ensure that all citizens have a real and fair chance to succeed and benefit from trade and economic growth. I look forward to working closely with my fellow leaders in the years ahead to build a better, more prosperous future for all.