OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird welcomes his Mexican counterpart — Jose Antonio Meade Kuribrena — to Ottawa for talks later today.  

A Mexican official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says the two ministers will begin laying the groundwork for a possible visit to Mexico next year by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The two countries will celebrate two milestones in 2014 — the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement and 70 years of bilateral relations.

The official says Baird and Meade Kuribrena are to discuss further ways to deepen economic co-operation.

Harper paid host to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto last November just days before he was formally sworn in to office.

Baird visited Mexico in February and is expected to play a greater role in Canada's engagement with Latin America after the recent cabinet shuffle did away with the portfolio for the region that usually went to a junior foreign minister.