Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have pledged to exert more efforts to deepen their bilateral ties in various fields on the occasion of the 35 th Anniversary of the ASEAN-Canada dialogue cooperation.

On September 24, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan issued a joint statement, affirming the relations between ASEAN and Canada is developing vibrantly during the current period.

Over the past 35 years, both sides have constantly promoted this relationship which now encompasses vast political, economic, social, and cultural cooperation, said the statement.

It affirmed Canada and ASEAN’s pleasure at recent steps which have served to re-energize their bilateral relations such as Canada’s appointment of its first ambassador to ASEAN in 2009 and its accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia in 2010, and both sides’ adoption of a Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment in 2011.

“Increased high-level visits from Canada to the ASEAN region, such as by the governor general, the prime minister, and several visits each by the foreign affairs and international trade ministers, have served to deepen our connections and interaction,” the statement said.

It noted that Canada and ASEAN are confident that new initiatives such as Canada’s recently announced 10 million USD funding commitment for ASEAN-Canada cooperative activities over the next three years, and the establishment of the Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC), will further promote the growth of dialogue cooperation between Canada and the bloc.

“We look forward to the continued deepening of our relationship and welcome Canada ’s increased influence and presence within ASEAN,” concluded the statement.-VNA