Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has signed off on his country’s accession to the Third Protocol Amending the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

The signing was made within the framework of ministerial meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that ended on July 23 in Bali , Indonesia .
This followed Canada ’s accession to the Treaty in 2010 and further demonstrated the importance Canada places on its relationship with ASEAN, according to the Canadian Foreign Ministry.

Speaking in Bali , Canadian FM Baird stressed the Canadian government’s top priority was to secure the economic recovery of the country.

“So it makes sense to increase economic ties with our ASEAN partners while also working on our common security concerns and ensuring human rights are protected and enhanced throughout the region,” he said.
Nearly 600 million people live in ASEAN member states, a region whose aggregate GDP was 1.9 trillion USD in 2010. Canada hopes to continue increasing its commercial and political presence in the ASEAN region and in the larger Pacific area.

Canada and ASEAN established relations in 1977.

ASEAN consists of Brunei , Cambodia , Indonesia , Laos , Malaysia , Myanmar , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam . /.