I would like to start by thanking our hosts, the Governor General and Mrs. Sharon Johnston, for the warmth with which the Crown Princess and I have been received, not only today, but from the moment we arrived at the Rideau Gate Guest House yesterday.
Your warm hospitality reflects in the best way possible the many strong and friendly ties between Denmark and Canada. Some of these are woven by large historical events: The liberation of Europe almost 70 years ago; our common endeavours on global issues; and our common challenges and opportunities in the Arctic.
But most of our ties – and perhaps the strongest and most important ones – are the individual and often personal connections between our two countries; Danes doing business in Canada, Danes studying, finding employment or even their life partner here – and likewise for Canadians in Denmark.
The Crown Princess and I are extremely pleased to be part of the further strengthening of the strong relationship and bonds between our two nations. There are many reasons why these bonds are as strong as they are.
First of all, we have a lot in common and share many of the same values. We are Northerners with a strong belief in democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
Another reason is that our relations are based on reciprocity. And by this, I mean that both countries “bring something to the table”. Trade is perhaps the best example. Danish pharmaceutical companies are an important supplier to the Canadian health sector. And while Canadian and Danish companies join forces in the field of fuel cell power systems, it was Canadians who built the planes connecting the vast inland of Greenland.
Currently, Canada and the EU are final stages of finalising a free trade agreement which will be an important platform for deepening the trade relationship for the benefit of both our countries. And this will present an opportunity for jobs and growth for both Canada and Denmark.
This is the second time the Crown Princess and I have visited Canada together. The first time we came was with 18 Danish sportsmen and women to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler in 2010. This time we visit Ottawa and Toronto with a large delegation representing more than 75 companies and organisations from various fields such as green building and construction, food, life style and health. The biggest Danish business outreach activity to Canada in a very long time.
Our visit is an invitation to Canada and to Canadian business to work with us in turning the two–way street into a highway.
I believe I speak for not only the Crown Princess and myself but, also the entire delegation when I say that we are very much looking forward to the coming days here in Canada. I am convinced that it will be equally productive and inspiring for all involved. And I hope that the visit will serve to reconfirm, strengthen and grow the ties between Denmark and Canada.
Your Excellencies Governor General and Mrs. Sharon Johnston:
Je voudrais conclure en vous remerciant une fois de plus pour l’hospitalité chaleureuse que vous nous avez réservée, ici au Canada, à la princesse héritière et à moi-même.
[Please let me conclude by reiterating our thanks for the excellent reception the Crown Princess and I have met here in Canada.]