Canada is one of the oldest dialogue partners of ASEAN and the two sides are also key economic partner of each other, said Susan Gregson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Asia-Pacific, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development of Canada.

At a working lunch with ambassadors of ASEAN countries in Ottawa on November 28, Gregson affirmed that over the past years, Canada has taken specific steps to strengthen its ties with the bloc, including appointment of a Canadian Ambassador to ASEAN.

She added that the country committed an additional funding of 14 million USD to help address security issues of shared concern in the Southeast Asia and push the ASEAN connectivity agenda, while engaging in negotiations on an action plan between ASEAN-Canada for the 2016-2020 period.

Following the opening of the Canadian Embassy in Myanmar, Canada also has plans to open new diplomatic missions in Laos and Cambodia.

According to Gregson, Canada considers ASEAN an organisation of special importance in Asia and pledged to become a responsible and high capable partner of ASEAN.

She said that the country also wishes to become a member of the East Asia Summit (EAS) to help address the socio-economic, cultural, security challenges that Canada and Asia share.-VNA