ASEAN is Canada's key partner

(VOVWORLD) - The 18th dialogue between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Canada took place virtually on Tuesday, focusing on sketching out orientations for cooperation between the two sides, discussing regional and international issues of mutual concern, and preparing for the ASEAN-Canada Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in this August.

ASEAN is Canada's key partner - ảnh 1The 18th dialogue between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Canada is held online on July 13, 2021 (Photo: VNA)

Assistant Foreign Minister and Head of SOM Canada Paul Thoppil emphasized that ASEAN is Canada's key partner and expressed his wish to elevate relations with ASEAN and participate more deeply in regional cooperation mechanisms chaired by ASEAN.

At the event, ASEAN members and Canada agreed to coordinate closely to promote collaboration in economic, trade and investment, maintain the supply chains and prioritise the launching of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement in 2021.

Both sides will continue their cooperation programmes in education and training and high-quality human resource while enhancing cooperation in sustainable development and innovation achievement application.

Vu Ho, Director of ASEAN Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, suggested that Canada continue to support ASEAN's epidemic prevention and control efforts, assist ASEAN countries in accessing a fair, equitable, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, coordinate to maintain and promote trade and investment exchanges, and ensure supply chains.

He re-affirmed the consistent principled stance of the ASEAN on the East Sea issue, stressing that ASEAN and Canada should work closely together to protect a regional environment of peace and stability, uphold international law, strengthen trust, encourage restraint and avoidance of militarization as well as the settlement of disputes in accoradance with international law.