PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has received a formal welcome with military honours in Ottawa.
Mr Abbott is the first Australian leader since John Howard in 2006 to visit Canada.
He began Monday with a bicycle ride, accompanied by Mounties, through the picturesque streets of the capital followed by breakfast with counterpart Stephen Harper.
The prime minister also made a courtesy call to Canada’s Governor-General David Johnston.
Mr Harper has spared nothing in welcoming his conservative political friend, with Australian flags flying along all of Ottawa’s main thoroughfares, military honours on historic Parliament Hill and a welcome ceremony in Confederation Hall.
The two leaders will hold talks on trade, investment and security before giving a joint media conference on Monday afternoon (Ottawa time).
Canada and Australia are working with 10 other nations towards an Asia-Pacific free trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
As the current president of the G20, Mr Abbott is also seeking Mr Harper’s support for a two per cent growth target to be agreed at the Brisbane summit in November.
A business roundtable and formal dinner will round off the two-day visit before Mr Abbott heads to New York.