Washington (Agencies): Aiming at improving border cooperation to boost trade, US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched an initiative that would ensure free flow of trade.

"We agreed to a new vision for managing our shared responsibilities -- not just at the border but 'beyond the border,'" Obama said after talks with the Canadian leader in Washington on Friday.

Harper said the two leaders endorsed what he calls "a North American perimeter," saying this is "not to replace or eliminate the border but, where possible, to streamline and decongest it."

"We share security threats that are very similar on both sides of the border," Harper said.

A joint statement issued by the two leaders said that they "intend to pursue a perimeter approach to security, working together within, at, and away from the borders of our two countries to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries."

The border map would see greater sharing of intelligence between Ottawa and Washington and the use of biometrics to track travellers, and automating processes at the land border crossing to increase efficiency.