Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird was received by Lao State President Chummaly Saynhasone in Vientiane on October 15 during his visit to Laos, the first made by a senior Canadian official since the two countries set up diplomatic ties in 1974.

President Chummaly Saynhasone welcomed the visit and said he was pleased with the outcome of cooperation between the two countries over the past four decades.

He also said he hopes both sides will step up cooperation and assistance in various fields and support each other at international forums so to bring their ties to a new height.

John Baird briefed his host on the results of his talks with his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith, during which the two sides affirmed to intensify cooperation and exchanged views on issues relating to an ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN-Canada relations and cooperation.

He said Canada and ASEAN are carrying out a plan on cooperation in trade and investment in 2012-2015, and pledged to do more to increase trade and investment in the fields of Laos’ strengths.

At present, scores of Canadian businesses are engaging in projects on urban development, environmental protection, road construction, healthcare, human resources development and mine and bomb clearance.-VNA