Canada always attaches importance to the role and position of Vietnam in its diplomatic strategy, said visiting Canadian Foreign Minister John R. Baird at a meeting with President Truong Tan Sang in Hanoi on March 12.

Canada is paying much attention to Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam , due to their dynamic international integration and the cooperation potential between nations in the region, added Baird.

He affirmed the hope of Canadian organisations and businesses to continue strengthening investment and expanding their operations in Vietnam . He also expressed his hope to enhance the two countries’ relations both bilaterally and multilaterally.

At the meeting, President Sang hailed Baird’s visit, which takes place at a time when the two countries are celebrating their 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties. He highly valued the two countries’ ties at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Francophone and Trans-Pacific Partnership forums.

The president affirmed that Vietnam always treasures cooperation with Canada , saying that he hopes the two countries will continue promoting this relationship on the basis of the long-term, stable and comprehensive partnership.

The Vietnamese State leader suggested the two sides hold regular high-level exchanges and boost trade at a sustainable pace.

He expressed his hope that the Canadian Government will continue to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to integrate into the country, contributing to the development of Canada and bilateral ties.

Also on March 12, the Canadian Foreign Minister held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh.

The two sides agreed to make every effort to boost bilateral multi-faceted cooperation, especially in economics-trade-investment, science-technology, and education-training, as well as support each other at multilateral forums.

Minh spoke highly of the Canadian Government’s decision to keep Vietnam on the list of 20 countries that receive priority official development assistant (ODA).

He asked the Canadian Government to further open its market to Vietnamese products, recognise Vietnam’s market economy status, extend the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for Vietnam, and support Vietnam’s IDA (International Development Association) loans from the World Bank.

The guest affirmed his willingness to work with the Vietnamese side to prepare for President Sang’s tour to Canada later this year, and invited Minh to visit his country at an appropriate time.-VNA