Canadian prime minister visits Thailand this week

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BANGKOK, March 21 — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will pay an official visit from Thursday through Saturday (March 22-24) to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

The visit, at the invitation of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Canada as well as the 35th anniversary of Canada’s relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Thailand is a member.

Mr Harper is promoting Canada as an investment destination of choice and will discuss cooperation between the two countries in combating human smuggling and terrorism in the region.

The Canadian premier will be officially welcomed Friday at Government House, followed by a meeting with Ms Yingluck.

The topics of discussion will include issues of mutual interest, including trade and investment, energy, education, and security cooperation as well as ASEAN-Canada cooperation.  Ms Yingluck will host a luncheon in Mr Harper’s honour at Santi Maitri Building in the Government House compound.

Mr Harper’s official visit not only commemorates the 50th anniversary of Thai-Canadian diplomatic relations, but reaffirms the long-lasting and cordial relations between the two countries.

Thailand, as the country coordinator of ASEAN-Canada relations during 2009-2012, will also take this opportunity to highlight the auspicious occasion of the 35th Anniversary of ASEAN-Canada dialogue relations this year.

The Thailand visit was part of Mr Harper’s Asian tour that will take him to Japan Sunday and Monday (March 25-26) and to the South Korean capital on Monday and Tuesday (March 26-27) where he will participate in the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.

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