Senior officials of the 10 ASEAN member countries are on a five-day visit to Canada with the aim of boosting bilateral trade and investment.

At a meeting with the ASEAN guests on June 2, Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast voiced his hope that the visit will help foster mutual understanding and partnership between the two sides’ businesses.

He said connecting Canadian enterprises, especially those of small and medium sizes, with the world markets is part of the country’s Global Markets Action Plan, which targets driving exports and creating jobs and trade opportunities.

ASEAN, comprising the fastest growing and most active markets in the Asia-Pacific region, is the seventh largest trade partner of Canada. Strengthening trade and investment ties with the regional countries is part of its long-term plan, the minister added.

During their visit, the delegation will meet with Canadian businesses and government agencies. They are expected to suggest cooperation in the supply chain, information technology, energy, education and infrastructure.

In 2013, two-way trade between Canada and ASEAN countries rose by 7.3 percent from 2012 to approximately 17 billion USD, up over 30 percent from five years earlier.

By the end of last year, Canadian investors poured more than 6 billion USD into the region, topping their investment in mainland China and India.-VNA