Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand, today witnessed the signing of a Declaration of Intent to conclude a bilateral arrangement on youth exchanges. The ceremony took place during Prime Minister Harper’s official visit to Thailand.
“Canada and Thailand have strong ties, and these ties have led to economic and cultural benefits for both our countries”, said the Prime Minister. “By pursuing this arrangement on youth exchanges, we hope to enable young people from both countries to broaden their horizons and develop a better understanding of each other’s cultures, further strengthening our bond.”
Once concluded and in force, the reciprocal arrangement will enable Canadian and Thai youth between the ages of 18 and 30 to gain knowledge and skills from one another’s culture, thus giving them a competitive edge in the job market.
By forging greater links amongst young people, such exchanges will also strengthen the people-to-people ties between Canada and Thailand.
Canada currently has bilateral arrangements on youth exchanges with 32 countries and territories. In 2010, nearly 57,000 young adults from around the world and approximately 19,000 Canadian youth participated in exchanges under the International Experience Canada initiative.